In the most outrageous act committed by a corporation in a long time, MGM Resorts International is brazenly suing the survivors of the deadly mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017.
MGM owns the Mandalay Bay Hotel, the site from where Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of country music concertgoers last year. No motive has ever been assigned to Paddock, so we still don’ know WHY he opted to kill 58 people and injure 515 more. There are far more questions than answers, and oddly, several survivors who were speaking out about the incident died shortly thereafter. The act appeared to have been premeditated, as video footage released by the hotel showed him wheeling numerous bags, which we know now contained weapons and ammunition, up to his room.
But now, insult is being added to injury and trauma.
The unprecedented move from MGM Resorts International to sue hundreds of victims of last year’s mass shooting in Las Vegas using an obscure U.S. law never tested in court has been framed by the casino-operator as an effort to avoid years of costly litigation…
The company is not seeking money in the lawsuits filed in at least seven states over the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Instead, it wants federal courts to declare that it has no liability to survivors or families of slain victims under a federal law enacted after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
MGM argues that the Oct. 1 shooting met two conditions of the law: it qualifies as an act of terrorism and federally certified security services were used at the venue where 22,000 concertgoers were gathered as gunfire rained down from the company’s Mandalay Bay casino-resort…
…MGM’s lawsuits target victims who have sued the company and voluntarily dismissed their claims or have threatened to sue after a gunman shattered the windows of his hotel suite and fired on a crowd of country music fans. Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more before killing himself.
MGM is invoking the Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002, enacted to urge development and use of anti-terrorism technologies by providing companies a way to limit liability if their federally certified products or services fail to prevent a terrorist attack. After 9/11, manufacturers and others were concerned they could be sued out of business after an attack. (source)
Those named in the suit are quite reasonably outraged.
“To hear that MGM was suing my family, it forces me to relive all the pain and suffering all over again,” said Wayne Meyer, whose son Austin was one of the 58 killed in October. “I somehow feel like I’m back to square one, but it makes me mad. I’m disgusted … I’ve already lost my son and now they want to sue me. They want to take what little I have left and that makes me mad. It’s really hard. I think about my son every day.”
Joyce Shipp, whose daughter Laura was also one of those killed, said she was “so pissed” about the lawsuit. “The fact that they’re trying to sue us now, or they are suing us, it’s outrageous,” she said. “I mean, who does that? Who does that? It’s like being kicked again to the ground.”
Jason McMillan, a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy, was shot and paralyzed during the shooting. During Monday’s press conference he expressed how he used to protect people from danger in his law enforcement duties during his four years as a deputy.
“I can’t do that anymore. I can’t go to work. I can’t do what I was doing before,” he said, adding that the thought that he’s now being sued is “insulting” and “absurd.”
“It enrages me that this company can just try to skip out on their responsibilities and liability for what happened,” McMillan said. “I just can’t believe the audacity of them. … I just want them to know that I’m not just a victim from the concert. I’m a survivor.” (source)
The victims held a press conference about the outrage.
MGM argues that they are only suing people who sued them first.
MGM faced immediate backlash over the lawsuits this week, and it insisted in tweets and statements that it is trying to expedite resolutions for the victims. It stressed that it is “not asking for money or attorney’s fees” and directed the complaints “only at people who have already sued us or have threatened to sue us.”
“We are seeking justice through the federal court system in order to reach a timely resolution. We want to resolve these cases quickly, fairly and efficiently,” spokeswoman Debra DeShong said on MGM’s Twitter account. (source)
In an ironic statement to CNN, MGM Resorts reiterated the claim that they are just trying to help the victims by suing them.
MGM Resorts called the shooting “the despicable act of one evil individual” and said its lawsuits, filed Friday in US District Courts for Nevada and Central California, are intended to benefit the victims and help them heal. (source)
What do you think?
While personally, I don’t believe MGM is necessarily at fault for the shooting, my mind is absolutely blown at the audacity of them suing those who were present, as well as the family members of those who lost a loved one. Our nation is ridiculously litigious and this move shows a complete lack of compassion. Everything can’t be about money. Sometimes, it has to be about human decency. In my opinion, it’s positively outrageous and I believe this legal move will backfire.
I’m curious what you think. Do you feel that MGM is at fault for the Vegas shooting? How do you feel about MGM suing the victims? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.