Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Erin Andrews $55,000,000 verdict: Can it happen to your property?

by David C. Tryon - Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLC

If you own or manage a hotel or inn, the Erin Andrews $55,000,000 verdict probably caught your attention. You wonder, “could that happen to my hotel?” Yes it can...

One fact which has not been widely reported is that Andrews’ room was allegedly on a “secure floor” – a designation which likely has varying meanings to property owners and guests. Barrett was able to use his immediate proximity to tamper with the peep hole on Andrews door at an ideal time – allowing him to see from the outside in. A disturbing reality is that anyone can do this with a readily available $60 (or $12.99) device. Barrett then videoed Andrews nude in her room without being detected by the hotel staff. He later posted the video on the Internet, which subsequently went viral...

So, what steps can you take to prevent something like this from happening to your property? Start by having a very direct conversation with your staff about your security measures. Assess what efforts you have in place and if those efforts should be enhanced. Ask yourself these questions... more

PS - Hotels are not the only vulnerable targets. The term "property" easily expands to include: country clubs, gyms, schools, hospitals, and more. In fact, all corporate locations offering rest room / maternity room / changing room / shower and locker room facilities to their employees and visitors is at risk. 

The best first steps to protecting yourself and your company:
1. Have a written Recording in the Workplace Policy in place.
2. Train security and facilities employees how to conduct inspections for spycams.
3. Conduct in-house spy camera inspections periodically, and document your efforts.