Nine months after the horrific mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert venue, MGM is actually suing the victims of the attack.
MGM Resorts International has filed a complaint against more than 1000 individual victims in an attempt to seek relief from the lawsuits of victims claiming the resort is partially liable for Stephen Paddock’s murder spree in October of 2017.
MGM Resorts International is claiming that any civil lawsuits filed against the company should be immediately dismissed. Their argument is that Mandalay Bay and the Route 91 Harvest festival venue cannot be held liable for the massacre because the corporation should be protected under a 2002 federal anti-terrorism law.
The law the MGM attorneys are referencing is called Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technology Act of 2002, or SAFETY. It was put in place in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The purpose of the law was to protect manufacturers developing technologies that could help guard against future terror attacks. The law also applies to companies that provide services to defend against and respond to threats.
MGM hired the Contemporary Services Corporation to provide security for the October concert. That company is certified by the Department of Homeland Security and therefore shielded from liability in the case of an attack. The new lawsuits argue that protection extends to MGM because MGM hired Contemporary Services.
One attorney representing the victims has accused MGM of “judge shopping”, saying that it “verges on unethical”.
“I’ve never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like. It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level.”
Mandalay Bay and it’s parent company are under extreme scrutiny after it was revealed that it took security and SWAT nearly 80 minutes to reach Paddock’s room. Litigants hold MGM responsible for the slow response and inadequate surveillance and security.
A spokesperson for MGM claims that the lawsuit is necessary in order to prevent the cases from dragging on.
“The unforeseeable events of October 1st affected thousands of people in Las Vegas and throughout North America. From the day of this tragedy, we have focused on the recovery of those impacted by the despicable act of one evil individual. While we expected the litigation that followed, we also feel strongly that victims and the community should be able to recover and find resolution in a timely manner. Congress provided that the Federal Courts were the correct place for such litigation relating to incidents of mass violence like this one where security services approved by the Department of Homeland Security were provided. The Federal Court is an appropriate venue for these cases and provides those affected with the opportunity for a timely resolution. Years of drawn out litigation. Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing.”
The resort is moving ahead with their suit even though the FBI has never declared the attack an act of terrorism.