Why Experts Say Erin Andrews Won't End Up With Full $55 Million Payout

She was awarded a big sum in her lawsuit but that’s only the beginning.

ByABC News
March 8, 2016, 11:33 AM

— -- The $55 million verdict in Erin Andrews' lawsuit shocked many observers, but the sportscaster is likely to go home with much less, experts say.

Andrews, 37, sued her stalker, Michael David Barrett, and the owner and operator of the Nashville Marriott where she was staying when Barrett secretly filmed her.

Barrett, who was arrested in 2009 and criminally convicted in the case, was sentenced to two and a half years in jail. The Nashville jury decided Monday that he was 51 percent responsible for Andrews' emotional injuries that followed his release of the naked video, while West End Hotel Partners, which owns and operates that Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University, was found to be 49 percent at fault.

West End Hotel Partners had said that Barrett's criminal actions were his responsibility, not theirs.

The breakdown means that Barrett is responsible for more than $28 million and West End Partners must pay more than $26 million.

ABC News legal expert Dan Abrams notes that because Barrett does not have that kind of money -- he testified in court that the reason he filmed Andrews in the first place was in an effort to sell the video -- she cannot reasonably expect to get any of the $28 million from him.

"The fact that the jury gave him only 51 percent and the hotel 49 percent is about as good as Erin Andrews could have asked for because now she's got a big number coming from the hotel," Abrams said.

Michael David Barrett leaves the Metropolitan Correctional Center after posting bond in Chicago, Oct. 5, 2009.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Beyond that, the hotel's lawyers have not announced their plans but they could go back to the judge to ask him to reduce the amount, or they could appeal.

Chris O'Brien, a personal injury lawyer and co-director of trial advocacy at the University at Buffalo Law School in New York, said the defense attorneys might not expect as much of a reduction as they would have before the verdict.

"The negotiating position on the side of the hotel has been substantially weakened" because of the jury's decision, he said.

Whatever the final number, Andrews will also have to pay her legal fees.

"Whatever the number is, Erin Andrews is going to take home a lot less than $55 million," Abrams said.

Erin Andrews, center, stands with attorney Scott Carr, left, as the jury enters the courtroom, March 7, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.
Mark Humphrey/AP Photo

He added: “She's going to basically write off the portion for Barrett.”

Abrams said that the $55 million verdict likely puts this case among the top five largest personal injury verdicts in Tennessee in the past 10 years.

"I think this is one of these cases that the profile of the case will help the verdict largely stand ... because the world is watching and anyone who is going to significantly reduce this verdict is going to pay a price online and in social media," he said.