The Truth About Marriott and Erin Andrews’ Court Case

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You have most likely heard that Erin Andrews was rightly awarded $55 million in her hotel stalking case. The common perception with this case is that Marriott International is at least one of the defendants. However, did you know Marriott is not even a party to the case anymore?

Marriott is understandably trying to get the word out about this. Yesterday they issued the following press release:

The Facts About Marriott International and the Erin Andrews Trial

There has been much confusion in the media and public conversations about Marriott International’s responsibility for what happened and our involvement in the trial.  Here are the facts:

  • Ms. Andrews was the victim of a crime while she was a guest at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.  Michael David Barrett videotaped her in her guestroom while she was undressed and posted the footage on the internet.  Mr. Barrett was arrested, convicted and served a jail sentence for his crime.
  • The Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University is a franchised hotel, meaning that Marriott neither owns it nor operates it.  It is operated independently under a license from Marriott to use its trademarks, among other things.
  • Ms. Andrews later sued West End Hotel Partners, LLC (the owner/franchisee of the hotel); Windsor Capital Group, Inc. (the operator of the hotel); Michael David Barrett and Marriott International.
  • The Court in Tennessee found that Marriott International had no liability and dismissed Marriott from the case.
  • We are not and have not been a part of this trial. This trial is between Ms. Andrews; Windsor Capital Group, Inc.; West End Hotel Partners, LLC; and Michael David Barrett.
  • Our legal team is not among those that have questioned Ms. Andrews during this trial. Additionally, the witness who allegedly viewed the video of Ms. Andrews in a Nashville restaurant last week is a representative for the owner and not a Marriott employee.

Marriott International is sympathetic to the ordeal that Erin Andrews went through because of Michael David Barrett’s criminal conduct. We continue to be sensitive to the serious nature of this matter and remain committed to the safety and comfort of our guests.

There is no question that Erin Andrews is the only true victim in this case, but I feel bad for Marriott. The events in question took place at a franchised hotel that Marriott does not own or operate. Furthermore, the Court in Tennessee had already dismissed Marriott from the case. Yet, they are taking a lot of backlash for this.

Comments

  1. thanks for the clarification on this. Just last night, the NBC corporate media report including the image of Marriott in background on its report — further perpetuating the image.

    By the way, this hole issue though DOES remind me of the film abuse that certain Poconos “resorts” (most of the big ones being run by the mob/casinos) were known to engage in — with cameras behind one-way mirrors. (then selling those videos….) Long ago, but I grew up in that area…. and it was legendary. Recall investigations went after some of the small players…. but casinos/resorts generally don’t get much scrutiny. (as per their power & influence in DC)

  2. Group seem to have a real problem with idiot employees..

    Hotel clerk thinks great idea to reveal where another guest is staying and put you next to them, without checking with anyone?

    Lawyer who thinks it’s hilarious to yuck it up with buddies showing her nude video in a restaurant?

  3. It was funny when I saw the headline of who was actually being sued because I used to work for Windsor Capital Group and managed a couple of their properties. Stupid front desk agents just cost their company millions along with the grief that Erin Andrews suffered as well.

    Rule #1 of all front desks: do not give out room numbers to anyone not on the reservation.

  4. Well, why is it still a Marriott hotel? Why haven’t they severed their relationship? They’re still making money from people booking this hotel…

    • Even if they did that, the hotel would still have been a Marriott when the events in question took place, so the narrative would probably be the same.

  5. Funny, they give you the same response when you have a customer service complaint: “Oh that’s not our hotel, its just a franchise, you’ll have to resolve it with them.”

    Marriott Rewards has a real problem with this…you do (actually, if not legally) have to take responsibility for what happens in your Marriott branded hotels. Otherwise, what does the brand mean? Why stay at a Marriott hotel if Marriott is going to wash their hands with your business at the first sign of trouble?

    • Dennis, I am not sure if it is fair to equate a criminal matter to Marriott Rewards customer service issues. When it comes to customer service issues, Marriott definitely shares responsibility because it is their duty to ensure their franchisees are following the rules.

    • Totally agree. The average guest assumes that Marriott standards are being upheld and don’t know whether their hotel is franchised or company owned.

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