MGM Resorts International sued more than 1,000 victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting in an attempt to dodge liability in the music festival massacre last October that killed 58 and injured hundreds of others.
Stephen Paddock fired down at a large crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, which is owned by MGM.
MGM argues in federal lawsuits filed on Monday in Nevada and California that it cannot be held liable for any deaths, injuries or damage during the shooting incident and that any claims against the company "must be dismissed," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
In court documents, MGM cites a 2002 federal act that extends liability protection to any company that uses "anti-terrorism" technology or services that can "help prevent and respond to mass violence."
To protect concertgoers, MGM claimed it had hired Contemporary Services Corp., a company that had been certified by the Department of Homeland Security for "protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction," the Review-Journal said.
"The federal court is an appropriate venue for these cases and provides those affected with the opportunity for a timely resolution," Debra DeShong, MGM Resorts spokeswoman told the Review-Journal. "Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing."
Last November, hundreds of shooting victims filed claims in five different lawsuits in Los Angeles Superior Court, National Public Radio reported. One of those suits included 450 victims from the shooting and charging that MGM and Live Nation, the concert organizer, were negligent in not having adequate security policies, not properly training its staff and failing to respond quick enough.
NPR said a Nevada law firm had filed 14 various lawsuits there, naming MGM Resorts, Live Nation and the Paddock estate as plaintiffs, along with manufacturers of the bump stock device found in Paddock’s hotel room after he killed himself there.
"The evidence we've seen thus far clearly indicates that the defendants were culpable in contributing to the 58 victims who lost their lives and the thousands more still suffering from severe injuries that will take years to overcome, if ever," said a release from attorney Antonio Romanucci in relation to the Nevada lawsuits.
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