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'A stunt': Outrage builds over MGM Resorts' decision to sue victims of Las Vegas massacre

Posted by On July 18, 2018

'A stunt': Outrage builds over MGM Resorts' decision to sue victims of Las Vegas massacre

'A stunt': Outrage builds over MGM Resorts' decision to sue victims of Las Vegas massacre

A lawsuit filed by MGM Resorts International, owner of the Las Vegas hotel from which Stephen Paddock fatally shot 58 people and wounded hundreds, is drawing outrage from survivors of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The suit filed against hundreds of the victims of the rampage Oct. 1 outside the Mandalay Bay hotel claims the entertainment giant has "no liability of any kind."

MGM said in a statement the filing was meant to provide a "timely resolution" for shooting victims who sued or will sue in the aftermath of the attack during the Route 91 Harvest Festival. MGM said litigation filed against it "must be dismissed."

“The unforeseeable events of October 1st affected thousands of people in Las Vegas and throughout North America," MGM Resorts spokeswoman Debra DeShong said in a statement. "From the day of this tragedy, we have focused on the recovery of those impacted by the despicable act of one evil individual."

More: 'There’s people shot everywhere!': Las Vegas shooting 911 calls released

More: Documents detail terror, chaos during deadly Las Vegas shooting rampage

Brian Claypool, a survivor of the rampage who represents 75 survivors and victims' family members, called MGM's lawsuit "a stunt" that won't survive a court challenge.

"I am still in therapy once a week, and this is their way of trying to solve the problem," he said. "It’s shifting responsibility and minimizing their blatant negligence."

Robert Eglet, whose firm represents hundreds of people in the case, dismissed MGM's claim as "outrageous" and accused the company of trying to intimidate victims. Very few of his clients have filed suit and some never will, he said.

"In my 30 years of practice, this is the most reprehensible behavior I have ever seen a defendant engage in," Eglet said. "They are trying to victimize these people twice."

MGM's lawsuit claims the case must be dealt with in federal court under terms of the post-9/11 Safety Act, which provides incentives for development and deployment of anti-terrorism technologies. The company says the security firm it contracted for the concert, CSC, was approved by the Department of Homeland Security, thus released from liability under the act.

Eglet and Claypool said that release does not extend to the hotel.

"The Safety Act doesn't apply to them, it applies to CSC," Eglet said. "MGM has nothing to do with CSC."

Eglet said there was no reason to file the suit since the issue of jurisdiction is already being argued in court. He said MGM is "judge shopping."

"They are trying to find a judge they like," he said. "All they have done is cause a tremendous amount of stress, pouring gasoline on the fire."

Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law in Virginia, said the company may be able to convince a federal judge with its arguments, but that would come at a price.

"Even if MGM is successful, that may not outweigh the adverse publicity for the company that the suit generates," he told USA TODAY.

MGM took a hit on social media.

"This is just OUTRAGEOUS & WRONG," tweeted JoAnn Smith, whose profile says she is a security officer in Las Vegas. Crypto Contrarian tweeted that "being a Las Vegan, I must speak out about this. Can MGM not see how harmful this will be?"

Paddock fired more than 1,000 rounds from a 32nd-floor hotel room overlooking the concert. He was found dead of a sel f-inflicted gunshot wound in the room.

Numerous lawyers in Las Vegas feature the shooting on their websites, some calling out MGM and the concert promoter for providing inadequate security.

"A gunman bringing more than two dozen firearms into a hotel room, including military-style assault weapons, is almost unthinkable," the Ladah Law Firm says on its website. "There are serious questions about the security procedures at the Mandalay Bay."

The write-up says, "If you so much as take a casino chip off of a table you will no doubt be immediately surrounded by security guards; yet, nothing was done in this case."

Claypool said MGM should spend money on safety consultants, not lawyers developing "desperate arguments" designed to avoid responsibility.

"Fixing security would be the socially responsible thing to do," he said. "But instead they’re offending every person on the planet with their moral indi gnity."

#VegasStrong concert honors mass shooting first responders, affected Fullscreen

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People listen to Big & Rich perform during a benefit concert honoring first responders and those affected by the recent Las Vegas mass shooting, on Oct. 19, 2017, in Las Vegas. Fullscreen Big Kenny, left, and John Rich of Big & Rich perform during a benefit concert honoring first responders and those affected by the recent Las Vegas mass shooting in Las Vegas. The band had performed on Oct. 1st before shots rang out killing 58 people and hundreds were injured. Fullscreen A woman reacts as she listens to Big & Rich perform, Thursday, in Las Vegas. Some survivors of the mass shooting said they were ready for closure, though they c onfessed feeling engulfed by anxiety and security fears while gathering in a large group for the first time since the attack. Fullscreen Big Kenny, center, and John Rich, left, of Big & Rich perform come back to Las Vegas for the fans. The tickets were all free for the benefit concert. All donations, profits from food and beverage will be donated to the primary victims fund. Fullscreen Comedian Ron White performs, Thursday for the benefit concert. Fullscreen People light the night with their phones at Las Vegas concert. Fullscreen Natalie Pelander embraces Matthew Pelander during a benefit concert honoring first responders and those affected by the recent Las Vegas mass shooting. Fullscreen Rascal Flatts perform during the benefit concert in Las Vegas. Fullscreen People attend a benefit concert honoring first responders and those affected by the recent mass shooting, Thursday. Some survivors of the mass shooting said they were ready for closure, though they confessed feeling engulfed by anxiety and security fears while gathering in a large group for the first time. Fullscreen Cam takes a pause, while performing, Thursday, in Las Vegas. FullscreenReplay
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AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsRead or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2LtccWrSource: Google News US Business | Netizen 24 United States

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