Las Vegas, Nevada was blanketed with sadness on the night of October 1, 2017. Concert-goers at the Route 91 festival on the Las Vegas Strip became victims to one of the largest mass shootings in the country.
Shooter, Stephen Paddock, fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel with perfect view of the festival, and its guests. Fifty-eight lives were taken that night by the hands and bullets of Stephen Paddock. Las Vegas hospitals, trauma and non-trauma, were filled with hundreds upon hundreds of wounded victims. Photos were released of hospital emergency room floors filled with shed blood from those entering the ER.
Paddock was found dead from alleged suicide prior to officers arriving the hotel room he was stationed at. Those of the 58 included several California residents visiting the city for the festival. In days to come, the “Welcome To Las Vegas” sign was filled with a large memorial dedicated to the lost lives of said 58 people. There was also a memorial garden immediately built downtown in their honor.
Mandalay Bay Hotel, product of MGM Resorts International, said that the 32nd floor will be “disappeared”. Floors 31-34 will now be floors 56-59; and room 32135 where Paddock stayed will never be open to guests.
Now, in recent news, Mandalay Bay is suing over 1,000 victims of the mass shooting. MGM Resorts International’s lawsuit does not seem to be seeking money. This is a judicial bid so that they can avoid any liability and dismiss claims against themselves and the Mandalay Bay.
This is outraging people all throughout the United States which has become clear on social media. It is also hitting home for Las Vegas residents and family members of victims and the fallen who immediately formed lines of thousands of locals to donate blood for the victims, build memorials, send donations, etc. The city became known for their immediate “Vegas Strong” and “#VegasStrong” designs, tattoos, and motto in general. So seeing something like this is very shocking. A lawyer for several of the victims is also calling this suit “outrageous” and “verging on unethical”, according to US reports. Many people are looking at this as immoral.
MGM Resorts International filed complaints in the states of Nevada and California saying they could not be held liable for any deaths, injuries, or damages that were caused during the shooting in 2017. The complaints state, “Plaintiffs have no liability to any kind of defendants”.
They say the security company that they had hired was certified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Therefore, they were protected from any liability under a federal act of 2002. MGM is arguing that this protection extends to them since they hired said security firm.
A spokesperson for the MGM company said in a statement that they were not suing victims for any money, and claimed to be “sympathetic”. There have been social media uproars ever since the incident in 2017 saying that it is Mandalay Bay’s fault for not having tighter security and not seeing someone bringing in that many weapons to a hotel room. However, this point has not yet been brought up in the lawsuit case.
Debra DeShong said Monday, “Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of the victims, the community, and those still healing”.
Lawyers of the victims say that MGM was apparently trying to get this case heard in federal courts versus state courts in Nevada and California. If they do, they may have a better chance at winning their lawsuit.
Robert Eglet is a lawyer representing several victims. He recently told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he has, “never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like,” “It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level”.
There have already been lawsuits filed by the victims against MGM and Live Nation, the concert promoter.
To date, the mass shooting is unresolved. Police still do not know why Paddock opened fire that night. Within 10 minutes of shooting, 22,000 people at the festival were put in danger. The case is still open in Las Vegas. This was not just a mass shooting, this was an extreme act of terrorism. It needs to be treated and remembered as so; and wounds need to be left to heal.