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'No Liability': MGM Sues Las Vegas Shooting Victims

Company says it can't legally be held responsible for the massacre
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2018 10:04 AM CDT
In this Oct. 3, 2017, file photo, debris litters a festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort and casino in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
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(Newser) – MGM Resorts is suing more than 1,000 victims of the Oct. 1 shooting in Las Vegas, claiming it has "no liability of any kind." The company—which owns the Mandalay Bay hotel from which Stephen Paddock opened fire, as well as the targeted venue of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival—argues it shouldn't be held responsible for 58 dead and more than 850 injured because it hired a security company certified by the Department of Homeland Security for "protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction," per the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Under the 2002 Safety Act, a company is granted liability protection if it uses "anti-terrorism" services that can "help prevent and respond to mass violence." Therefore, all claims against MGM Resorts "must be dismissed,” the federal complaint states.

Lawyers for victims don't agree. "MGM is trying to beat these people to the courthouse and declare that they have no rights," a Texas attorney tells Las Vegas Now, arguing the case should be heard in state court in Nevada, where MGM is based. Las Vegas attorney Robert Eglet says filing in federal court is a "blatant display of judge shopping" that "verges on unethical." In a statement, per Newsweek, however, MGM says federal court is indeed "the correct place for such litigation relating to incidents of mass violence … where security services approved by the Department of Homeland Security were provided." Additionally, it provides "the opportunity for a timely resolution," MGM says. (Paddock allegedly showed the "mark of a sociopath.")

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