The FBI’s final investigative report on the deadly Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas that claimed the lives of nearly 60 people is expected to be released before the shooting’s first anniversary, and its surviving victims are hoping that it includes some new information implicating MGM Resorts International (the owner of the Mandalay Bay hotel and resort where shooter Stephen Paddock opened fire from the window of his 32nd-floor suite), otherwise they could be on the receiving end of a painful lawsuit filed by the company.
That’s right: MGM Resorts International has filed a new lawsuit claiming that it has no liability in any of the injuries or deaths in the October mass shooting in Las Vegas.
The company – which not only owns Mandalay Bay but also owns the venue across the street from the hotel where most of the victims were gathered for a country music festival – is suing more than 1,000 victims of the shooting. The lawsuits were filed in federal courts in Nevada and California, which one attorney representing the victims decried as an attempt to find a judge they like, according to the Daily News.
“I’ve never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like,” attorney Robert Eglet, who represented some of the victims, said. The attorney accused MGM of “judge-shopping” in federal court, rather than state court, where he believes any lawsuits should be filed.
“It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level.” Eglet added that the lawsuit was “preemptive strike” to get the case heard in federal court instead of state court, which means MGM probably thinks it has a better chance of winning in federal court. He added that the decision is a “blatant display of judge shopping” that “quite frankly verges on unethical.”
MGM told the New York Post that 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.”
The Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, killed 58 people and wounded more than 800 when he opened fire on Oct. 1, armed with dozens of weapons stashed away in his suite. Victims have filed lawsuits against both MGM and concert promoter Live Nation, accusing the companies of not having adequate security measures in place to stop the attack. While the company may have cobbled together a legal basis for its claims, perhaps the management didn’t factor in popular outrage, which it is almost certainly going to face if the lawsuits proceed.