MGM hints at $800m settlement with Vegas shooting victims


mgm-resorts-vegas-shooting-settlementCasino operator MGM Resorts International believes it could reach a potential $800m settlement with victims of the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas.

This month, MGM filed a quarterly report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that said it was “reasonably possible that a settlement will be reached” with victims of the 2017 massacre. This potential settlement could cost the company between $753m and $800m, but MGM said its insurance would cover up to $751m of any deal.

On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd watching a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip. Paddock, who had booked two rooms in MGM’s Mandalay Bay resort, killed 58 concertgoers and injured hundreds more, then took his own life before Mandalay Bay security and local police were able to break down his door.

MGM’s legal strategy for defending itself against liability claims has frustrated many survivors and earned the company even more bad press. In July 2018, the company sued 1,900 victims in federal courts in Nevada and California, a pre-emptive strike intended to both consolidate the proceedings and to keep them out of state courts, where the company feared it would receive less protection.

While MGM has steadfastly maintained that it is “not legally responsible for the perpetrator’s criminal acts,” the company has been conducting mediation talks with the plaintiffs since February, and the SEC filing says “progress has been made” following multiple sessions.

Attorney Robert Eglet, who is representing the plaintiffs in these talks, told the Associated Press that, while a settlement was possible, “it’s not probable” and the two sides had “a long way to go before we have an agreement.” Eglet emphasized that any deal would need to be reached within a year.