The company which owns Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort and the Route 91 Harvest Festival venue has filed a lawsuit against the victims of the October mass shooting, claiming it’s not liable for deaths and injuries that occurred during Stephen Paddock’s rampage.
On Oct. 1, Paddock killed 58 people and injured over 800 more when he opened fire on an outdoor concert from his hotel room, 32 floors above the Las Vegas Strip.
MGM Resorts International filed lawsuits in California and Nevada on Friday, claiming the company cannot be held responsible for the deaths, injuries and damage caused by Paddock. MGM Resorts alleges in the suits that it owes “no liability of any kind” to victims of the rampage.
The company cites the 2002 anti-terrorism statute, dubbed the SAFETY Act, which was designed to “support the development of new technologies and services to prevent and respond to mass violence.”
MGM argues that the security company it hired for the festival, Contemporary Services Corp. (CSC), had been certified by the Department of Homeland Security and that “Paddock’s mass attack meets the requirements” under the SAFETY Act.
“The SAFETY Act expressly provides the federal courts with original and exclusive jurisdiction over ‘all actions for and any claims for loss [or] injury’ arising out of or relating to a mass attack where certified services were provided,” the company claims in the lawsuit.
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MGM is seeking court order on whether “claims arising from the attack” apply under the SAFETY Act, and to prevent future civil lawsuits against the company.
Speaking to Las Vegas’ 8 News Now, attorney Craig Eiland, who represents some of victims, says the company is trying to declare his clients “have no rights.”
“MGM is trying to beat these people to the courthouse and declare that they have no rights,” he said.
MGM spokesperson Debra DeShong issued a statement arguing the litigation should be heard in a federal court.
“While we expected the litigation that followed, we also feel strongly that victims and the community should be able to recover and find resolution in a timely manner,” she said. “Congress provided that the Federal Courts were the correct place for such litigation relating to incidents of mass violence like this one where security services approved by the Department of Homeland Security were provided.”
Eiland told the news station that the “proper venue for this is Nevada State Court.”
“Plain and simple, under the law.”
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