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.
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