Corporate owners of Mandalay Bay are suing Las Vegas mass shooting victims claiming to have “no liability of any kind” to them.
MGM Resorts International, which owns Mandalay Bay and the Route 91 Harvest festival venue, filed a lawsuit against more than 1,000 victims of last year’s Las Vegas massacre, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“Plaintiffs have no liability of any kind to defendants,” the complaints argue in federal courts in Nevada and California.
According to the Review-Journal:
The company cites a 2002 federal act that extends liability protection to any company that uses “anti-terrorism” technology or services that can “help prevent and respond to mass violence.”
In this case, the company argues, the security vendor MGM hired for Route 91, Contemporary Services Corp., was protected from liability because its services had been certified by the Department of Homeland Security for “protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction.”
Since MGM hired the security company, the protection covers them as well, the lawsuits contend.
While not seeking money from the victims, MGM is asking the judge to decide if the act is applicable.
“The Federal Court is an appropriate venue for these cases and provides those affected with the opportunity for a timely resolution. Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing,” Debra DeShong, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts, said in a statement.
Las Vegas attorney Robert Eglet, however, sees the complaints in federal court as a “blatant display of judge shopping” that “quite frankly verges on unethical,” noting that since MGM is a Nevada company, lawsuits belong in state court.
“I’ve never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like,” the lawyer, who represents several of the victims, added. “It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level.”
MGM and concert promoter Live Nation have both had lawsuits filed against them stemming from the mass shooting by Mandalay Bay guest Stephen Paddock, on Oct. 1 last year. Paddock killed 58 people and wounded more than 800 when he opened fire from the windows of his 32nd-floor room, raining bullets on fans attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival.
Paddock had already killed himself by the time police stormed his room.