Las Vegas hotel sues victims of mass shooting

Daniel Fowler
July 19, 2018

MGM Resorts International sued the victims of a Las Vegas music festival mass shooting in an effort to block any potential compensation claims against it.

The owners of Mandalay Bay, the Las Vegas hotel from which a gunman launched the deadliest mass shooting in modern USA history, have filed countersuits against victims seeking immunity from damage claims they might bring.

Gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from the window of a Mandalay Bay hotel room on October 1, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more as the Route 91 Festival took place.

In the lawsuits, MGM Resorts says that a security company at the concert provided a variety of services created to prevent mass violence, and that those services were certified by the Department of Homeland Security as appropriate.

According to MGM, their security vendor was certified by the Department of Homeland Security for "protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction".

But Robert Eglet, who is representing several victims, called the lawsuit "outrageous" and "bordering on unethical". "They're just causing more harm to these victims by doing this".

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The lawsuits are said to target more than 1,000 victims who have either sued the company and voluntarily dismissed their claims or have threatened to sue after the spree. The lawsuit is not asking for money; it wants the court to consider the applicability of the 2002 SAFETY Act. Since the shooting, hundreds of victims have sued the resort company in California and Nevada state courts. The gunman opened fire from a Mandalay Bay hotel room onto a crowd of concertgoers, killing 58 people.

Authorities swarmed the Strip after they received reports of an active shooter near the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

High-stakes gambler Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more previous year before killing himself.

MGM Grand isn't even trying to pretend that this is anything other than what it looks like, as Debra DeShong, a spokeswoman for MGM, released a statement confirming that litigation is the prime motivator here.

The victims lawyers said the lawsuit is an attempt to try and get the case heard in federal courts instead of state courts, for a better chance of victory. In the immediate aftermath of the massacre, a lawsuit filed on behalf of some 450 victims accused MGM of shirking its "duty of reasonable care", in allowing Paddock to repeatedly come and go from the hotel, stockpiling weaponry in the days leading up to his rampage.

The FBI has yet to define the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting as an act of terrorism because the gunman's intentions were unclear. "This is not helping survivors heal, and it is not helping Las Vegas heal".

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