Hundreds of families are still dealing with the aftermath of the mass shooting from Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas last year, which left 58 people dead and 851 injured. Many have resorted to lawsuits against various entities involved, including MGM Resorts, which owns Mandalay Bay, the hotel from which the shooter fired on October 1, as well as the concert venue.
However, in a series of lawsuits filed last Friday, MGM Resorts has asked “federal judges to step in and declare the resort company free from liability,” writes NPR. The lawsuits name more than 800 defendants in California, and more than 200 in Nevada.
As MGM Resorts owns not only the hotel from which the shooter acted, but also the concert grounds of the festival, they have more than a leg to stand on. NPR reports, “The lawsuit cites a 2002 federal law designed to encourage companies to deploy anti-terrorism ‘security technologies’ without fear of being held responsible for damages if a terror attack happens anyway.” However, the FBI has not labeled the attack an act of terrorism, as the gunman had no clear motive.
The security concert at the concert apparently provided a “variety of services designed to prevent mass violence,” which was vetted by the Department of Homeland Security.
In a statement emailed to NPR, Debra DeShong, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts, said federal court was “an appropriate venue” for the cases, given the federal law.
“While we expected the litigation that followed [the attack], we also feel strongly that victims and the community should be able to recover and find resolution in a timely manner. … Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing,” DeShong said.
While MGM Resorts claims that their lawsuits are an act of compassion, not everyone agrees with its methods.
Speaking to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas attorney Robert Eglet, who has represented several Vegas shooting victims, said, “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.”