$55 Million Reptilian Verdict in Erin Andrews Peephole Video Trial

The Nashville jury in the Erin Andrews peephole trial has reached a verdict. The jury has reportedly awarded $55 million. Our recap of the trial leading up to closing arguments is here. After our trial recap post, we had the opportunity to watch the live stream of the closing arguments. What struck us was the Plaintiff’s lawyer’s Reptilian closing. We have previously written on the Reptile Strategy here, here, and here. In the Erin Andrews case, the Plaintiff’s closing argument repeatedly harped on safety rules, safety rule violations, and public endangerment, all of which are tenants of the Reptile Strategy. We also noticed that the damages discussion in the Plaintiff’s lawyer’s closing was reminiscent of the strategy taught in the popular Plaintiff’s lawyer strategy book, David Ball on Damages 3.  That strategy involves tying noneconomic damages to something concrete. Here, the Plaintiff’s lawyer reminded the jury that the video had been viewed 16.8 times over five years and that it would be viewed millions of times in the future. The Plaintiff’s lawyer asked the jury whether it was worth $1, $5, or some other amount every time a stranger was able to watch a video of Erin Andrews without clothes. Our takeaway: This is yet another cautionary tale as to the effectiveness of the Reptile Strategy and the need for defense lawyers to be prepared to defend against it. It will be interesting to see how much Erin Andrews is actually able to collect and whether the verdict will survive any appeal.

Comments are closed.