June 9, 2023

MGM might pay $800m in Las Vegas shooting settlement

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From Aljazeera

The site of the mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada [File: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters]

US hotel owner sued by thousands for failing to protect them during mass shooting that killed 58 and wounded hundreds.

Casino giant MGM Resorts has told regulators in the United States it may pay up to $800m to settle liability lawsuits stemming from the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas – the deadliest in the country’s modern history.

“The company believes it is reasonably possible that a settlement will be reached” by next May, it told the Securities and Exchange Commission in a quarterly report released on Thursday.

MGM Resorts also said it had $751m in insurance to pay towards a settlement.

However, a lawyer handling mediation talks for plaintiffs called it premature for the corporate owner of Mandalay Bay resort to report a possible settlement range between $735m and $800m.

“Not even close,” Robert Eglet said about the amount disclosed by MGM Resorts.

He said he represented about 4,200 claimants, including those who have sued in Nevada, California and other states, and people who have not formally filed for damages.

“It’s true that a settlement is possible,” Eglet said. “But I will tell you it’s not probable. Nothing is signed. We have a long way to go before we have an agreement.”

Eglet said talks are ongoing with MGM Resorts lawyers, and that he was aware the company would make its report to the SEC.

MGM’s defence

MGM Resorts has defended itself against liability claims, outraging victims last summer when it filed lawsuits against more than 1,900 people in a bid to consolidate claims in one federal court.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensation for a range of physical and psychological harm after a gunman rained gunfire from a Mandalay Bay suite into an open-air concert crowd, killing 58 people and wounding more than 800.

They accuse MGM Resorts, which owns the high-rise hotel and owned the concert venue across Las Vegas Boulevard, of failing to adequately protect the 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

They point to findings that the gunman, Stephen Paddock, spent several days amassing an arsenal of assault-style weapons and ammunition in the two-room suite.

Eglet said he reviewed the SEC document on Thursday and agreed that a settlement needed to be reached within a year.

Company spokeswoman Debra DeShong said progress had been made after multiple mediation sessions over several months.

The goal was “to resolve these matters so that all impacted can move forward in their healing process,” she said.

Paddock was a 64-year-old retired accountant and high-stakes video poker player.

Police and the FBI say he acted alone, firing out of the windows with guns equipped with rapid-fire bump stocks then killing himself before officers reached his room. Paddock did not leave a note or a manifesto, and authorities closed investigations saying they did not identify a motive.


For more on this story go to; https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/mgm-pay-800m-las-vegas-shooting-settlement-190517015300542.html

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