Going to hotel, whether for business or vacation, is often painted as a relaxing experience. Marketing and ad campaigns for many hotels promise people a chance to unwind and even get pampered, enjoying amenities and feeling like you’re safe and being taken care of.
However, this was certainly not the experience sportscaster Erin Andrews had when a stalker reserved a room next to hers and recorded her through the peephole. The video was ultimately leaked online and Andrews filed a lawsuit against the stalker for obvious reasons and the hotel for negligent security.
In the lawsuit, it was revealed that the man who recorded Andrews called the hotel and specifically asked for a room that was next to Andrews’ room. Instead of protecting the privacy of hotel guests, especially considering Andrews is a public figure, the hotel worker evidently confirmed she was staying there, gave out her room number and reserved the room next door for the man.
Undoubtedly, the man who stalked Andrews and violated her privacy by rigging the peephole in Andrews’ door, recording videos of her and then releasing them without her consent is to blame for such horrendous acts.
But a jury agreed with Andrews that the hotel was also liable for the incident. In fact, the jury determined that the hotel and its lack of proper security is responsible for 49 percent of the $55 million in damages that was recently awarded.
As troubling as this case has been, it has shed light on some serious issues that hotels need to address regarding privacy. Hotels are expected to take reasonable precautions to keep guests safe from attacks, including those against a person’s privacy. Those that fail to do so can and should be held liable for any damages that a person suffers as a result of inadequate efforts.
Source: Reuters, “Jury awards Erin Andrews $55 million in lawsuits over nude video,” March 8, 2016