Last Thursday MGM Resorts agreed on a settlement to pay $800 million to victims of the 2017 massacre that took place outside the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort in Las Vegas. MGM Resorts hosted the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival, where 58 people lost their lives and hundreds of others got injured in a mass shooting on October 1st 2017. The incident is considered the deadliest shooting committed by a single person in modern U.S history.
Survivors accuse MGM Resorts of not properly training their staff to report suspicious activities
In the aftermath of the shooting, some survivors filed lawsuits against MGM Resorts accusing them of negligence and not doing enough to prevent the shooting. MGM was also accused of not properly training their staff to identify and report suspicious activity which could have saved tens of lives.
“We have not seen a mass shooting of this size and we have never seen anything close to the scale of this settlement,” said Georgia State University law professor Timothy Lytton, the author of a book on gun litigation.
More than 400 survivors and relatives of those killed will be eligible to receive payments through a victims’ compensation fund. The lawsuits blamed MGM for security lapses, such as failing to notice that one of their guests was stockpiling weapons in his room. 23-year-old Patige Gasper, who was shot in the chest said “My hope is that our pain and the continuing daily struggle we face will not be forgotten and that we continue to honour the 58 people we lost that night, and that this settlement sends a message to large companies like MGM to do more to protect people and prevent horrific events like October 1st.” The settlement will mainly pay for ongoing medical and psychological care for the survivors.
MGM’s response and next steps
MGM’s attorneys stressed last Thursday that the settlement is not an admission of liability. MGM General Counsel John McManus commented in regards to that by saying
“We believe there’s really one person who is truly responsible for this and unfortunately, there’s really no way to bring that person to justice. When you have the choice of many, many years of litigation that’s painful for everyone, it’s definitely best for the company, the community and the victims to move forward and try to get past this.”
The money will be allocated according to an administrator appointed by the court, which will evaluate the claims of survivors and victims’ families; a process expected to be finished in 2020. The size of the settlement will most probably push concert venues, hotels, and other organizations to improve on their security measures