Over 450 victims of the Las Vegas massacre have signed on to several lawsuits seeking damages from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, as well as the promoters of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Over 15 lawsuits have already been filed since the October 1st shooting, which left 58 dead and over 500 injured. The new suits filed Monday named the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and its owner MGM Resorts International as defendants. An MGM subsidiary also owns the fairgrounds where Route 91 took place. The festival's promoter, Live Nation, was also named as a defendant, as was the estate of slain gunman Stephen Paddock.
The new lawsuits accused Mandalay Bay of breaching "their duty of reasonable care" by failing to notice Paddock was stockpiling guns in his hotel room. They also faulted the hotel for not immediately calling the police after Paddock shot security guard Jesus Campo before opening fire on concertgoers across the street.
During a news conference, one of the lawyers for the victims, Chad Pinkerton, said of the slow response, "My instinct tells me that's going to be because they wanted to control the environment and control the message before the public and the media was involved. Certainly they didn't know they were going to have an evil act such as this, but they could have anticipated it, they could have foreseen it."
Furthermore, the lawsuits argue that the Route 91 Harvest Festival did not have adequate exits and properly trained employees. This lack of preparation, they argued, caused additional injuries, both from trampling and gunfire, as attendees tried to flee the fairgrounds.
In a statement, MGM Resorts International said, "The incident that took place on October 1st was a terrible tragedy perpetrated by an evil man. These kinds of lawsuits are not unexpected and we intend to defend ourselves against them. That said, out of respect for the victims, we will give our response through the appropriate legal channels."
Most of the plaintiffs in the new lawsuits were Route 91 concertgoers, though a few security guards working the event also joined the class. According to the attorneys, over 30 plaintiffs were shot, and two were family members of individuals that were killed. Approximately 100 others suffered trampling injuries, while about 250 were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Pinkerton said many of their clients were unable to afford medical care for their injuries.
Unlike other lawsuits stemming from the Las Vegas massacre, this one does not go after gun manufacturers or the makers of "bump" stocks, the accessories Paddock used to make his semi-automatic rifles function practically as fully automatic rifles. Another attorney, Muhammad S. Aziz, said, "Our focus in this case is not about gun control, because I think a lot of our clients feel strongly about their rights about gun ownership. It's about promoting security in the hospitality industry."