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.
Lawyers for MGM Resorts International, which also owns the venue where the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival was held, has asked a judge to find that the company is not liable for deaths, injuries or damage caused at the event.
The lawsuit claims sympathy for the victims, saying that ‘years of drawn out litigation’ is not in their best interests.
But Robert Eglet, who is representing several victims, called the lawsuit ‘outrageous’ and ‘bordering on unethical’.
MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, has asked a federal judge to dismiss any future lawsuits brought by 2017 massacre victims
MGM, which also owns the site where the Route 21 Harvest Music Festival was taking place (pictured from the hotel), says litigation ‘is not in the best interests of victims’
Eglet, who spoke to the Las Vegas review journal, was particularly incensed at MGM’s decision to file the suit in a federal court.
MGM is a Nevada company and since the shooting happened in Nevada, any attempt to move the case outside the state amounted to ‘judge shopping’, he claimed.
‘I’ve never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like. It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level,’ he said.
Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and wounded hundreds more when he opened fire on the festival from his hotel suite
MGM filed its lawsuit on Friday in Nevada and California arguing that all future lawsuits against the company ‘must be dismissed’.
In their argument, lawyers say MGM is protected by a 2002 ruling that extends liability protection to any company that uses ‘anti-terrorism’ technology.
MGM says the security company it hired for the event, Contemporary Services Corp, was certified by the Department of Homeland Security for ‘protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction.’
Lawyers argue that the protection extends to MGM, since it hired the security firm.
Eglet described the grounds for the lawsuit as ‘obscure’.
The suit is potentially complicated by the fact that the FBI has refused to define the attack as terrorism, because shooter Stephen Paddock had no clear motive.
Paddock opened fire from the window of a suite inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Route 91 Harvest music festival, which was taking place opposite, on October 1 last year.
For around 15 minutes Paddock rained more than 1,100 bullets down on the crowd using assault rifles that had been legally modified to fire on fully automatic mode.
He killed 58 people and wounded at least 300 more before being found dead by police from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police stormed the hotel but were unable to stop Paddock raining more than 1,000 bullets down on the crowd before shooting himself dead