MGM Resorts sues more than 1,000 victims of Las Vegas shooting

Emily Shugerman

The owner of a hotel in which Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock stayed during his deadly rampage last year, has filed suit against more than 1,000 of his victims in an attempt to avoid liability.

MGM Resorts International filed suit in Nevada and California this week against victims of the 2017 mass shooting – the deadliest in US history. The lawsuit argues that MGM cannot be held responsible for deaths, injuries, or other damages stemming from the shooting, and says all claims against the company “must be dismissed”, according to local reports.

The suit does not seek compensation from victims, but seeks to prevent future lawsuits against the company from moving forward, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.

“Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing,” MGM spokeswoman Debra DeShong said in a statement.

MGM owns the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where Mr Paddock stayed during the shooting, as well as the Route 91 Harvest Festival, where the shooting occurred.

Fifty-eight people were killed and more than 800 were injured in the shooting last October, when police say Mr Paddock opened fire from his 32nd-floor suite with weapons he had stockpiled over the course of a week.

More than 450 victims of the shooting sued MGM last November, alleging negligence on the hotel's part. At least four other lawsuits have been filed against the company by victims who were injured at the concert, or by family members of the deceased, according to Reuters.

MGM’s lawsuit cites the 2002 SAFETY Act, which protects companies that deploy certain security technologies from being held liable for claims related to an act of terrorism. The company claims it cannot be held liable because it employed a security contractor that had been certified by the Department of Homeland Security for “protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction”.

The FBI has not defined last year’s shooting as an act of terrorism.