Insurer Sues Marriott in Erin Andrews Case

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Travelers insurance disputes the scope of the coverage it owes Marriott in defending against ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews, who claims the hotel chain negligently allowed a stalker to shoot nude video of her in a Nashville hotel room more than 3 years ago.



     In March 2010, Michael Barrett was sentenced to 2½ years in prison for stalking with intent to harass after he admitted following Andrews to at least three hotel rooms in three states.
     At the hotel room in the West End Marriott Hotel in Nashville, Barrett booked into an adjacent hotel room, altered a peephole in Andrews’ hotel room door and filmed her disrobing with his cell phone. He posted the film on the Internet, where it went viral.
     “These acts resulted in litigation by the aggrieved guest against the perpetrator, as well as against Marriott and others,” Travelers says in its Superior Court complaint.
     Andrews suedMarriott International and several other hotels in Cook County the same year Barrett was sentenced.
     Travelers says it agreed to defend Marriott as an additional insured under a policy issued to defendant-insured Windsor Capital Group, which owns the West End Marriott under a Marriott franchise.
     Windsor was not named as defendant in Andrews’ $10 million lawsuit for negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy in Davidson County, Tenn.
     Travelers accuses Marriott of refusing “to cooperate adequately, to share information pertinent to the defense, or to arbitrate its disagreements regarding attorney’s fees” in Andrews’ case in Nashville.
     The insurer disagrees with Marriott on “the scope of Marriott’s coverage for the claims asserted against it in the underlying action.”
     According to the complaint, Marriott cannot claim coverage for damages for personal injury because Andrews “did not learn of the wrongful acts until approximately five months after the end of the policy period, so she did not suffer any ‘bodily injury’ during the term of” the policy. It also claims that the hotel chain has no coverage for damages resulting from personal injury.
     The parties also disagree on the hourly rate at which Travelers is obligated to reimburse Marriott for attorney fees.
     Travelers Property Casualty Company of America is represented by Mark Peterson with Cates Peterson. It seeks declaratory relief and an order compelling arbitration of the attorney fee dispute.

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