The parent company of Mandalay Bay, MGM Resorts International, is suing the over 1000 victims of the 2017 Las Vegas massacre that left fifty-eight people dead. The shooter set up camp in one of Mandalay Bay’s rooms, and opened fire on a large crowd attending a country music festival – which took place on property also owned by MGM.
Why is MGM suing around 1000 victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern history, you probably ask? Basically, survivors and families of victims are putting out feelers for the best way to cash in on the tragedy. But while they strategize a civil suit, MGM is beating them to the punch, looking to preemptively block a drawn-out legal process by washing their hands of all liability. How are they denying liability for all “deaths, injuries or other damages” that occurred during the shooting, you probably also ask? By simply pointing to a 2002 federal law, which:
…Extends liability protection to companies that use anti-terrorism technology or pay for services to help prevent and respond to mass violence.
According to Buzzfeed News, in hiring Contemporary Services Corp. – regardless of how effective the company actually was at preventing or handling deadly the attack (re: not very) – MGM was covering its ass. A possibly blindsided lawyer for the victims not at all looking to capitalize on the tragedy himself, Robert Eglet, retorted with:
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.
And as a lawyer, he knows a thing or two about stooping to low levels. In terms of the “find a judge they like” criticism – apparently MGM is working an angle that will get the case tried in federal court, which could be less sympathetic to victims than a state court.
Risk is inherent to living, and while the urge to grapple with the court system instead of grappling with God makes sense (especially when one option involves monetary compensation) it’s also not the M.O. for a true country music fan. After all, “our lives are better left to chance.” Proximity to bodily harm haunts all of us every time we step outside our door, and it really can be paralyzing. You can’t blame survivors of a harrowing attack for attempting to rationalize risk by pinpointing a culprit (and again, cashing in big time.) And a massive casino can certainly part with potentially millions of dollars, especially if they only armed a massive event with Paul Blart. On the other hand, is this simply the escalated 2018 version of the 1992 McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit? Basically, who do you side with?
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