In an extraordinary twist to last year’s mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International is now reportedly suing more than 1,000 victims and survivors in an effort to avoid liability.
Flash back to Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, when Stephen Paddock unleashed hell from his hotel suite in Mandalay Bay hotel, taking the lives of 58 and injuring hundreds more down below attending the Route 91 Harvest festival.
Paddock’s 10-minute spree is considered to be the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The gunman reportedly laid out an arsenal in his apartment, which included semi-automatic rifles and thousand rounds of ammunition.
MGM Resorts International, which operates Mandalay Bay and the Route 91 fest, wants to ensure what happened in Vegas is none of its fault.
According to multiple reports, MGM filed federal complaints in Nevada and California last Friday arguing to dismiss any claims that it is responsible for deaths, injuries or damages from the rampage because a security vendor it hired was certified by the Department of Homeland Security and was therefore protected from liability under a 2002 federal act.
MGM wants a judge to determine whether the 2002 act, which extends liability protection to any company that uses “anti-terrorism” and was enacted in the wake of the Sept. 11 bombings, is applicable to the Route 91 shootings. The company say it is not seeking money from the victims, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
“The Federal Court is an appropriate venue for these cases and provides those affected with the opportunity for a timely resolution,” said a spokesperson for MGM Resorts. “Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing.”
The lawsuits are said to target more than 1,000 victims who have either sued the company and voluntarily dismissed their claims or have threatened to sue after the spree.
Not surprisingly, survivors and their supporters are furious by the turn of events. “I’ve never seen such callous, reprehensible behaviour,” Robert Eglet, a Las Vegas attorney who said he represents about 1,000 survivors, told CBS News. “They’re victimizing these poor people twice.”
Muhammad Aziz, a Houston attorney who said he represents about 1,400 survivors, called the lawsuits “unprecedented” and said his clients were “surprised, shocked, angered,” CNN reports.
The shooter took own his life before he could be captured and, to date, investigators haven’t declared his motive. The incident hasn’t been called a terrorist attack.
A slew of lawsuits were filed after the attack, including papers targeting the festival’s promoter, Live Nation.