The settlement comes in response to lawsuits leveled at MGM for what survivors claim to be negligence; in October 2017, Stephen Paddock hid in his room at MGM’s Mandalay Bay hotel and fired into the crowd of a country music festival below. Fifty-eight people died; hundreds of others were injured.
“While nothing will be able to bring back the lives lost or undo the horrors so many suffered on that day, this settlement will provide fair compensation for thousands of victims and their families,” said Robert Eglet, whose law firm represents thousands of people affected by the shooting. “We believe that the terms of this settlement represent the best outcome for our clients and will provide the greatest good for those impacted by these events.”
One month after the shooting occurred, survivors signed on to several lawsuits leveled at MGM and Route 91 Harvest Festival, the festival where the shooting went down, according to Los Angeles Times. The suits accused Mandalay Bay of breaching “their duty of reasonable care” by failing to notice Paddock was stockpiling guns in his hotel room. They also pointed the finger at the hotel for not calling the police after Paddock shot security guard Jesus Campo before opening fire on concertgoers across the street.
In a statement, MGM Resorts International said, “The incident that took place on October 1st was a terrible tragedy perpetrated by an evil man. These kinds of lawsuits are not unexpected and we intend to defend ourselves against them. That said, out of respect for the victims, we will give our response through the appropriate legal channels.”
According to the New York Times, MGM tried to stop survivors from collecting payments by evoking the Support Antiterrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act, or Safety Act. The federal law was enacted in the wake of the September 11th attacks that, MGM claimed, classified the shooting as an act of terrorism — in which case, the resort would not be held responsible. Moreover, MGM started leveling suits of their own against survivors who had already sought legal action.
Matters have come to a head, however, and an Independent Claims Administrator has been tapped to sort through each survivor’s claim individually; all parties will be asked to dismiss any litigation. The process is expected to be completed by late 2020.