There is finally some closure coming for victims of the unprovoked massacre of concertgoers that took place in Las Vegas in 2017. Stephen Paddock used a room at the Mandalay Bay in Vegas from which he staged his attack on unsuspecting people attending the Route 91 Harvests Music Festival, ultimately killing 58 and injuring 851. It was the largest unprovoked attack on U.S. soil ever, and victims’ families wanted MGM Resorts, the owner of the Mandalay Bay, to be held accountable. Following a lawsuit lodged against the casino operator, the case has now been brought to a close, and MGM has learned its fate.
MGM was facing a number of lawsuits related to the incident, all of which had essentially asserted that the casino did not do enough to prevent Paddock from being able to walk in with luggage full of guns and ammo and wanted to know why he was able to access normally off-limit service elevators. After the lawsuits were launched, the company took a major cheap shot at victims by countersuing in an attempt to have the lawsuits dismissed. It failed.
Realizing that it was most likely at the losing end of a legal battle, MGM said over a year ago that it was preparing itself to pay out as much as $800 million to be able to put the issue behind it.
The Associated Press reports that a judge, Clark County District Court Judge Linda Bell, has signed off on the payout amount. 2,000 plaintiffs, represented by attorney Robert Eglet, had been involved in this lawsuit, and another approximately 2,400 relatives and victims were included through other attorneys and legal representation. Judge Bell explained in issuing her ruling that almost all of them agreed to the deal. Eglet told the AP, There’ve been no objections and we expect no appeals. We’ll send out notices of the order. After 30 days, the $800 million will be deposited.”
As when it said it was prepared to make the payout last year, MGM still asserts that it did nothing wrong and that providing the monetary compensation was only meant to allow everyone to move on. The casino operator won’t suffer too much, however, as most of that money will be paid via existing insurance policies. MGM might see its insurance premiums go up, but certainly not to $800 million. The company told investors that it is on the hook for just $49 million, with the rest coming from its insurance coverage.
How much everyone gets has yet to be determined. The payout will be based on a number of factors, including severity of the injury, if the shooting resulted in fatality and if any victim was left with permanent injuries. Of course, any amount will only be made available after the attorneys take their cut.