Victims of Las Vegas Shooting Could Receive $800M in Damages by January
Victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history could receive $800 million in payouts from Las Vegas casino operator MGM Resorts International and its insurers by this coming January, news emerged Thursday.
MGM and victims of one of the darkest incidents of unmotivated violence announced that they had reached a settlement in October 2019.
On Thursday, Robert Eglet, the attorney tasked with handling the settlement of hundreds of lawsuits filed against the casino company, submitted documents in a Nevada court, asking a judge to approve the negotiations that took place over the past year between MGM and plaintiffs from almost every state in the US, eight provinces in Canada, the UK, Ireland, and Iran.
On October 1, 2017, a lone gunman, later identified as retired accountant and avid video poker player Stephen Paddock, poured gunfire into a crowd of concertgoers attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival from his suite on the 32nd floor of MGM-owned Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Paddock killed 58 people, while more than 800 were wounded or injured attempting to escape the scene. The gunman shot himself before police reached his suite. Local police and FBI investigators never determined a clear motive for Paddock’s actions.
MGM Acknowledges No Liability
In a 225-page civil complaint, plaintiffs seek compensation and punitive damages from MGM and accuse the company of negligence, wrongful death, and liability in the shooting.
Paddock had built an arsenal of nearly two dozens of assault-style weapons in the days leading up to the October 1, 2017 shooting. In their civil complaints, plaintiffs slam MGM for failing to spot the fact that one of Mandalay Bay’s guests had managed to hoard high-powered guns and ammunition in his room.
The casino operator was also accused of failure to deploy proper safety measures during the music festival which was attended by 22,000 people at the time of the shooting.
MGM has acknowledged no liability and has said that it agreed to the $800 million settlement to let victims and their families move forward in their healing process and to avoid litigation that could drag on for years.
A recent document declares the case settled and asks Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell to set a date for any final objections. Judge Bell is expected to set a hearing for any such final objections by the third anniversary of the shooting.
Mr. Eglet said that those most severely and permanently injured could receive millions of dollars, depending on a number of factors, including their age, number of dependents, and types of injuries. Each person who had filed a claim for unseen injuries and did not seek medical attention or therapy would receive a minimum of $5,000.
Mr. Eglet said that the money is expected to be disbursed by the end of the year, “but a lot could depend on appeals and how quickly and efficiently the administrators can finish their work.”
MGM will pay $49 million, while its insurers are set to pay the remaining $751 million.
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