More than 1,000 victims of the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Hotel Shooting are being sued by MGM who owns the hotel. The MGM Resorts is suing the victims in an attempt to have the federal court rule that it cannot be held liable for the shooting of the 1,000 victims named in the lawsuit. The company is only naming the victims in the suit or those who have given notice that they intend to sue.
According to the New York Times, “MGM’s own lawyers admit he discovered only a few weeks ago, and which has apparently never before been used to try to shield a company from liability.”
On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock shot and killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others while a country music concert was going on below. It has been the worst mass shooting in modern American history.
The victims are blaming MGM for failure to provide adequate security and for allowing Stephen Paddock to bring high-powered rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition into his hotel room.
The law is known as the Support Antiterrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies, or Safety Act is intended to shield federally certified manufacturers of security equipment and providers of security services from liability should they fail to prevent a terrorist attack. MGM says that under the law they are immunized from liability because of two conditions which they met: One the security company they hired for the concert had a certification from the Department of Homeland Security and two the shooting at the Mandalay Hotel qualified, in the company’s view, as an “act of terrorism.”
This would be the first time that any litigation has been invoked in this federal law, according to MGM’s own lawyer, Michael Doyen of the firm Munger, Tolles, and Olson. “The shooting appears to have been the first act of mass violence at an event at which a D.H.S.-certified service or technology was employed.”
Lawyers and the victims of the shooting were outraged that MGM would sue them after what they went through in order to protect the company. Craig Eiland, a lawyer representing hundreds of the shooting victims said, “It’s all about immunizing themselves from liability and staying out of the state courts. They want to say that it does not matter how negligent MGM was.”