In October 2017, Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. His sustained gunfire left 58 people dead and 851 injured, making it the deadliest individual mass shooting in US history. Now MGM Resorts International, the owner of the hotel and the venue where the victims were targeted, filed a lawsuit against all the victims last Friday.
Lawyers for MGM Resorts International filed documents in Nevada and California federal courts against 1K known victims and estates of the horrific mass shooting. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, MGM Resorts stated in the federal filings that “Plaintiffs have no liability of any kind to defendants…”
The company is using an obscure law and interpretation that came about in 2002. The law is geared towards acts of terrorism and extends the protection against liability for companies that have put in place anti-terrorism technology and procedures. The company argues that the security firm it hired for the festival employed such criteria and, therefore, the protection against liability should also extend to the venue and hotel.
A spokesperson for the company stated, “The Federal Court is an appropriate venue for these cases and provides those affected with the opportunity for a timely resolution. Years of drawn-out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing.”
It is an attempt by the company to stop any future lawsuits from being filed on behalf of the victims. But many feel that Mandalay Bay does bear some responsibility in the shooting. Paddock was seen on multiple surveillance cameras with large amounts of luggage in the lobby that he carried into his high-end suite. In addition, he was able to fortify his suite after declining repeated attempts by housekeeping to clean the room. Recent information released by investigators has indicated that the construction material of the hotel hindered radio signals and coordination of law enforcement reacting to the scene.
Las Vegas attorney Robert Eglet, who is representing several victims, called the move outrageous and a judge-shopping maneuver. Eglet stated that it “quite frankly verges on unethical” and “I’ve never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like…It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level.”
The FBI, however, has not labeled the mass shooting an act of terror and the investigation is still ongoing.
A concert attendee captured this video of the shooting and posted to Twitter:
— KingLurch (@austinnolson) October 2, 2017