Vegas Shooter's Use of Service Elevator May Cost Hotel
Victims and families say Mandalay Bay shouldn't have given access to Stephen Paddock
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2017 5:23 PM CST
The funeral procession for Las Vegas police officer Charleston Hartfield passes the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas Strip Friday, Oct. 20, 2017.   (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

(Newser) – The biggest lawsuit to date in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas has been filed in California on behalf of 450 people who were injured or at least present when Stephen Paddock opened fire. The lawsuit was actually just one of five filed in California on Monday, reports Reuters, and they add to the growing litigation over the massacre. The big targets are MGM Resorts, owner of the Mandalay Bay hotel where Paddock stayed, and the organizers of the country musical festival he fired upon. The lawsuits accuse both of lax security and training, and NPR notes that one issue in particular was raised—Mandalay Bay's decision to give high-roller Paddock access to a service elevator not open to the public.

Paddock is believed to have used the elevator to sneak his arsenal of automatic weapons into his hotel room undetected. Lawsuits previously filed in Nevada raised the same point. Still, "one can't blame the hotel for not predicting that this gunman would go up to their 32nd floor with an arsenal and break out the windows and start firing at people," a law professor at the University of Denver tells NPR. The new suits also cite the makers of bump stocks, devices used by Paddock to make his guns more lethal, as well as Paddock's estate. The litigation could take years to resolve, notes the Los Angeles Times. Paddock killed 58 people and injured about 500 more.

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