“I think the jury as part of the process wanted to make sure Erin was recognized for these eight years when she’s battling this because she didn’t have to,” juror Terry Applegate told NBC News.
A jury of five men and seven women on Monday ordered Michael Barrett – who served more than two years in prison for the 2008 incident – to pay the Fox Sports reporter about $28 million with the companies that operate the Nashville Marriott paying the remaining $27 million.
Sports Illustrated legal analyst told PEOPLE that it will be difficult for Andrews to get all of that money, and that the companies that operate the hotel might appeal.
However, Applegate said it took the jury some time – several hours – to agree on how much Andrews deserved. Some felt $75 million, the amount Andrews initially asked for, was reasonable while others thought just $10 million was sufficient.
[IMAGE “1” “” “std” ]”Erin Andrews was going to get some money regardless,” Applegate said. “It was how much and where was the hotel at fault?”
She added: “We worked our way up to a middle-ground that everyone could accept, and that’s true of both the percentages of fault and the money.”
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Noble Taylor, a 45-year-old father of three, said he argued for Andrews to see the full $75 million after being swayed by her testimony and the testimony of her parents: Andrews’s father said she was a “shell” of her former self, adding, “She is not the girl that we used to know.”
“I’ve got two sons and a wife, and I think about what if it was my wife inside that room, or my kids,” he told NBC.
Taylor added that he wasn’t dissuaded by the defense’s claim that Andrews’s career flourished despite the distributed footage.
“A person like that is going to be driven no matter what happens, ” he said. “I can’t fault her. I kind of congratulate her.”
Now, both the jurors said they hope the decision will send a message to the hospitality industry – that an incident like this “should never, ever happen again,” Applegate said.
“It’s important that when we walk into hotels or any public building that says they’re going to take care of us that they take care of us, and we feel safe and secure in their environment,” Applegate said.
“And this hotel did not do that.”