MGM reaches settlement with shooting victims
MGM Resorts have agreed to pay out approximately A$1.1 Billion dollars after a mass shooting at one of their resorts in 2017.
On October 2, 2017 Stephen Paddock shot from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino down into a concert with more than 20,000 revellers, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500.
MGM Resorts several prominent hotels along the Las Vegas Strip in addition to the Mandalay Bay, including the MGM Grand, the ARIA and Luxor.
The money settled was agreed in an effort to resolve legal cases against MGM who have not admitted any liability, according to Channel News.
Lawyers representing survivors and victims of the shooting wanted MGM to be held liable for negligence because the shooter was able to enter the hotel with luggage that held an arsenal of high-powered, assault-style weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
The settlement funds will be paid for by MGM Resorts’ insurers in which the company had insurance cover for A$1 Billion ($751m US) dollars.
MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren said the settlement represents “a major step” toward the healing process for families.
“Our goal has always been to resolve these matters so our community and the victims and their families can move forward in the healing process,” he said in a statement. “We have always believed that prolonged litigation around these matters is in no one’s best interest. It is our sincere hope that this agreement means that scenario will be avoided.”
Attorney Robert Eglet of Eglet Adams said the settlement demonstrates MGM’s good faith in trying to compensate people who were affected by the massacre.
“While nothing will be able to bring back the lives lost or undo the horrors so many suffered on that day, this settlement will provide fair compensation for thousands of victims and their families,” he said. “We believe that the terms of this settlement represent the best outcome for our clients and will provide the greatest good for those impacted by these events.”
In addition, he said that the settlement “represents good corporate citizenship on their part”.
Settlement reached in the lawsuits
The final settlement figure will range between $735m and $800m US Dollars depending on the number of claimants and that the agreement resolves “substantially all” of the lawsuits filed.
The process is expected to be completed next year, whereby under the settlement the parties will dismiss all pending litigation.
MGM has been the target of scathing criticismfor suing hundreds of victims preemptively in order to have all lawsuits stemming from the massacre consolidated into one massive case in one federal court.
The company argued that it didn’t owe anything to survivors or families of slain victims under a federal law enacted after 9/11, which gave stadiums, corporate buildings and other facilities that draw crowds protection from lawsuits for strengthening security against terrorist attacks.
The Oct. 1, 2017, massacre happened when Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old former accountant and realtor, opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival from across the street on floor 32 of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Hundreds of others were also injured by bullets and in the resulting panic caused by thousands fleeing the concert.
Officers found 23 assault-style weapons in his hotel room, including 14 equipped with bump stocks that enabled rapid firing like an automatic firearm.
Police and the FBI found that Paddock had meticulously planned the attack and theorized that he may have sought notoriety. However, they never determined a clear motive.
An independent claims administrator is expected to be appointed by a court to determine the allocation of settlement funds to the victims and the victims’ families, according to the statement.