Sadly, gun massacres seem to be common in the United States. It seems that every year we are forced to hear about a massacre that killed 20 people, 30 people, even more.
On October 1, 2017 64-year old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, stood at the window of his room of the 32nd floor at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and shot his semi-automatic rifle equipped with a bump fire stock that converted it into an automatic and killed 58 people and injured more than 450. The victims were part of a crowd of 22,000 people who were enjoying a country music concert known as the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival located just yards away from the hotel. He then took his own life when Las Vegas Police were attempting to break through the door.
A law that passed Congress in 2005 and was signed by President George W. Bush prohibits state or federal lawsuits against manufacturers of guns except in limited situations that include a defective gun or a manufacturer that is involved in criminal conduct.
However, establishments in which the shots were fired or the victims happened to be can be sued for negligence. As a result, a number of lawsuits have recently been filed against MGM Resorts International, the corporate owner of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert venue.
Las Vegas Shooting Lawsuits
The first to file a lawsuit resulting from the Las Vegas Shooting was Chad Pinkerton and Mo Aziz, Houston-based attorneys. The suit was filed in Los Angeles, California. One of the lawyers explained that they filed the case in Los Angeles because it will have a better chance to get a jury there that is not influenced by the casino industry. He added that MGM Resorts International could get a jury in Nevada that includes people who are directly or indirectly associated with the company. The attorney added that most of the plaintiffs in the case are from California.
The lawsuit also includes a woman from California who is refilling a negligence claim initially submitted in October in Las Vegas. Four new plaintiffs have also been added to this case.
Also being sued is Live Nation Entertainment, the company that promoted the concert, as well as Paddock’s estate. Live Nation Entertainment is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California.
In addition, there are a number of lawsuits being filed in Nevada on behalf of 14 people who attended the concert and were either injured or were traumatized by the event. One lawsuit includes a gun control group. These lawsuits include a number of plaintiffs from Chicago as well as a man from California who was wounded during the shooting.
The plaintiffs claim that MGM Resorts International and its subsidiary Mandalay Corporation did not keep the hotel reasonably safe and did not properly check people who arrived and left the premises, did not monitor the hotel with closed-circuit television and failed to prevent the shooter from bringing several weapons into the hotel.
They further claimed that the shooter, who was given VIP status by the hotel because he was a gambler, was given exclusive access to the service elevator at the hotel that enabled him to stockpile weapons and ammunition in his room over days leading up to the shooting.
The plaintiffs also asserted that MGM and Live Nation did not have an adequate number of exits through which concert attendees could escape. They also claimed that MGM and Live Nation did not adequately train employees on how to react to a likely event including an attack.
The defendants are saying that the event was unexpected and was the fault of the shooter. They added that they are cooperating with the FBI investigation. Moreover, they conveyed their sorrow for the victims, their families and the people impacted by the event.
All told, there are 450 plaintiffs, 38 shooting victims, and 100 who were injured participating in these litigations.
Aziz concluded, “I think it’s an industry-changing type of litigation…. I think it brings it in line with today’s reality that we can have an active shooter at any time…. It’s going to be a hard fought case and change the way the hospitality industry works.”