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ESPN sideline reporter sues for emotional distress in hotel peephole case

According to Tom Weir reporting for USA Today, Erin Andrews is the ESPN sports network’s “most famous sideline reporter.” Well, the most famous sideline reporter for ESPN is now suing the Marriott Hotel and her stalker, Michael Barrett, who filmed Andrews in the nude through a peephole in her hotel room.

Her lawsuit seeks millions for emotional distress, a species of tort law that falls under the personal injury umbrella of claims.

In addition to emotional distress, Andrews seeks damages for invasion of privacy and negligence. She alleges that employees of the Marriott Hotel gave Barrett the location of her hotel room. Barrett, who had been stalking her, then apparently used the information to film her through a peephole in an adjoining room.

Barrett posted the video of Andrews on the Web, where it went viral.

As Weir reports, the Marriott Hotel Company changed its policies – but we’re not sure whether that goes far enough to address Andrews’ concerns. Many personal injury cases involve physical injury to a person caused by things like poor driving or poorly manufactured products. Cases of emotional distress that aren’t tied to an injury-causing accident are notoriously tough to win – but that doesn’t mean they never are.

More facts could come to light that would change our position, but our bet is that Andrews wins hers, at least in an undisclosed settlement, and that would be a good thing given the facts of this case.

Source: Detroit Free Press, “Erin Andrews sues for $10 million over peephole video,” by Tom Weir, 12/7/11

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