Posted on: September 30, 2020, 02:20h.
Last updated on: September 30, 2020, 03:20h.
Devin O’Connor Expertise: Commercial Gaming, Entertainment, Politics.
A Las Vegas court has signed off on MGM Resorts and its insurers settling with October 2017 shooting victims for $800 million.
$800 million has been approved for victims’ families and survivors of the Route 91 Harvest mass shooting that occurred three years ago on the Las Vegas Strip. (Image: Getty)
A day before the third anniversary of the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, the Associated Press broke the news that Clark County District Court Judge Linda Bell has approved the settlement agreement. Bell cited “near-unanimous participation in the settlement among potential claimants.”
On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay. He sprayed bullets at a crowd of concertgoers below and across the Strip from his suite, which was packed full with an arsenal of semiautomatic weapons, some of which were equipped with now-banned bump stocks.
The roughly 10 minutes of horror left 58 victims dead and more than 850 injured. Paddock committed suicide once law enforcement approached his suite. The FBI was never able to determine a motive for Paddock’s actions.
MGM Not GuiltyMGM Resorts, operator of Mandalay Bay, additionally owned Las Vegas Village, where the Route 91 Harvest country music festival was held.
The casino company’s legal liability was called into question after the attack, attorneys asking why Paddock was afforded the use of service elevators to transport his large pieces of luggage that were filled with guns, ammunition, and surveillance equipment. Legal experts also asked why Paddock’s room went unchecked by the hotel staff for numerous days.
But when MGM Resorts reached its settlement a year ago this month with plaintiffs, the agreement excused the casino operator from admitting guilt.
“The proposed settlement is not an admission of liability by MGM Resorts,” the company said in 2019. Instead, the settlement offered victims’ families and survivors the option to participate in the resolution agreement. Nearly all are.
Some 2,000 plaintiffs were represented by attorney Robert Eglet.
There’ve been no objections and we expect no appeals,” Eglet told the Associated Press today regarding the settlement approval. “We’ll send out notices of the order. After 30 days, the $800 million will be deposited.”
MGM Resorts has told investors that its insurance companies will pay $751 million of the payouts, and the casino operator the remaining $49 million.
A total of approximately 4,400 relatives and victims are included in the settlement and will receive a disbursement. The payouts will be based on the severity of the injury, the highest payout being for families of those dead, and survivors with permanent life-altering injuries.
Massacre AftermathOctober 1, 2017, forever changed Las Vegas. The days of someone putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on their door and the room going uninspected for days are over.
Unions have successfully fought for better security protections for workers, one example being housekeepers are now equipped with panic buttons. Casino resorts are scanning visitors and their luggage, not unlike at the airport, and bollards have been installed up and down the Strip to protect pedestrians.
MGM Resorts formed an Emergency Response Team, and the Las Vegas Metro Police Department has taken steps to make sure their radio and communication troubles experienced three years ago don’t fail again.
That’s being accomplished by the Clark County Fire Department, which is addressing “dead zones” inside casino resorts. Police and first responders reported poor or no radio communication inside the stairwells of Mandalay Bay on the night of October 1, 2017.