MGM Resorts International, the company that owns both the Mandalay Bay hotel and the Route 91 Harvest Festival venue, filed federal lawsuits against over 1,000 victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting. The lawsuits deny liability on the part of MGM.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the company stated MGM Resorts International is not liable for Route 91 deaths, injuries or other damages. Last year, 450 Route 91 shooting victims filed a lawsuit in California against MGM Resorts International. The suit claims that MGM acted negligently in several ways, including not properly monitoring the hotel premises, failing to notice and take precaution against the shooter stockpiling weapons and ammunition in his hotel room and not properly training employees to take note of suspicious activity. In complaints filed in Nevada and California, the company denies liability and said the claims against MGM “must be dismissed.”
The company cites a 2002 federal act which protects any company that uses “anti-terrorism” technology or services from liability. MGM Resorts International states that since the security company hired for the Route 91 Harvest Festival was certified by the Department of Homeland Security, both the security vendor and MGM are protected from liability.
The FBI has not called the Route 91 shooting an act of terrorism because gunman Stephen Paddock’s motives are not known.
MGM Resorts International is not seeking money from shooting victims. The company requests that a judge rule whether the 2002 federal act applies to the company. If a federal judge rules that the act protects MGM, the company requests that a judge determine that future lawsuits against the company are not viable.
Debra DeShong, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts, released a statement regarding the lawsuit.
“The Federal Court is an appropriate venue for these cases and provides those affected with the opportunity for a timely resolution,” the statement reads. “Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing.”
Robert Eglet, a Las Vegas attorney, criticized the company’s decision to file in federal court.
“I’ve never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like,” Eglet told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level.”
The Oct. 1 tragedy in Las Vegas resulted in the death of 58 people and left hundreds injured.