In a rather obvious bit of legal risk management, MGM Grand, the owners of the Mandalay Bay in Vegas, shoved out their wounded security guard and building maintenance guy onto the Ellen show to provide a media interview of record regarding the incidents during the night of Stephen Paddock’s mass murder shooting spree the evening of October 1.
Wounded security guard Jesus Campos has been in hiding of late. As in, the MGM team has insisted he needed privacy for his recovery and was not granting any interviews. Sort of odd that your boss would be answering your calls for you. Unless you and your boss had struck a deal. The same for Stephen Schuck, the hotel engineer who came to check the stairwell door on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay right as Campos was being shot through the door by Paddock. Ellen suddenly seemed like the proper venue to tell their stories, after being neatly groomed and dressed in very professional black suits.
Vegas hotels likely get sued daily. A pittance in nuisance fees compared to the bank. In contrast, this Vegas massacre civil suit fallout is going to be massive. The Mandalay Bay and MGM are already clearly on the hook for allowing a guest to bring an arsenal of battlefield weapons up to his suite. The response timeline to the incident will play a key factor in the ultimate liability of the resort. That’s where Campos and Schuck come in. Their reporting of what happened, in what order, and what type of response by the hotel in relation to the situation will determine payouts. A potential massive amount of money resting in the hands of these two low wage hotel employees. Assume they are being kept in comfort, without any obvious form of renumeration which might appear to be corrupting their testimony.
Ellen allowed these men to tell their rehearsed story complete with hotel floor map, receive their heroes accolades and super Ellen gifts from the show which seem largely merited, and express appreciation for all the first responders and hotel employees involved in containing the horrific situation. It was explained by Ellen in some kind of oddly prepared statement that Campos and Schuck would not be doing any more interviews so as not to have to keep reliving the nightmare of that evening. If you’re an Ellen viewer, this probably made you cry. If you’re in MGM Grand risk management, you probably also cried for everybody following script.
It’s merely a practical fallout of all tragic events that the lawyers pour in once the blood is relatively dry. Vultures they may be, but they do serve a purpose. There is blame to go around and certainly heavy prices paid by many. This is the MGM’s opening cover your ass salvo. They’ve got connections at Telepictures and NBC and sponsor the Ellen program. They’ve got “Ellen” slot machines in their casinos. The plaintiffs will have gruesome photos and stories to tell. This is only just beginning.