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Las Vegas Hotel Sues Victims of 2017 Mass Shooting

Las Vegas Hotel Sues Victims of 2017 Mass Shooting

Mandalay Bay hotel owner MGM has filed suit against more than 1,000 victims of the Las Vegas massacre as it tried to kill off any future lawsuits over the mass shooting.

MGM Resorts is arguing that because they hired a security company approved by the Department of Homeland Security created to prevent and respond to "acts of mass injury and destruction" to guard the festival, they are off the hook for any damages suffered by shooting victims.

In U.S. District Courts for the Central District of California and District of Nevada, MGM has filed for declaratory judgement to avoid or limit liability related to the October 1, 2017, shooting that killed 58 people and injured almost 500.

Robert Eglet, a Las Vegas-based lawyer for the shooting victims, told the Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper the suit targeting the 800 survivors of the mass shooting was misfiled in federal court.

MGM Resorts International is not seeking money, but is attempting to block claimants from being able to file lawsuits against it for "deaths, injuries, and emotional distress resulting from Paddock's attack".

According to CNN, the Safety Act was passed after 9/11 to encourage companies to hire third-party security firms, who had previously been nervous to carry out certain types of work in case they were sued after a terror attack.

Paddock shows his brother Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock
Paddock shows his brother Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock

Debra DeShong, a spokesman for MGM, said that the action was being taken in the best interests of victims.

MGM Resorts is arguing they couldn't be held liable, but the security company they hired for the festival potentially could if it wasn't certified by the Department of Homeland Security for "protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction".

The company cites the 2002 anti-terrorism statue, dubbed the SAFETY Act, which was created to "support the development of new technologies and services to prevent and respond to mass violence". The hotel company says this should protect MGM from liability as well. "It's just really sad that they would stoop to this level".

In this case, MGM's lawyers claim, the act and other regulations "make clear that any such claim against the MGM parties must be dismissed".

Under the law, a company or service provider can be shielded for certain types of liability arising from a designated act of terrorism. The FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have not determined Paddock's motive and are still investigating.

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