Las Vegas Victim Sues Resort, Organizers, Bump Stock Manufacturer, and Paddock Estate, for ‘Negligence’
A surviving victim of the Las Vegas mass shooting filed a lawsuit against MGM Resorts, concert organizers, bump stock manufacturers and retailers, and the “Estate of Stephen Paddock.”
Paige Gasper, 21, was shot and injured before she was taken to a hospital, ABC News reported. She filed the lawsuit in Clark County, Nev. on Tuesday, claiming that the aforementioned parties are guilty of “negligence” for failing to prevent Paddock’s rampage.
The Sonoma State University student also alleged that MGM Resorts International and its subsidiary, Mandalay Corp., the hotel owner, failed to monitor Paddock’s activities and responded late.
Paddock, 64, is accused of carrying out the worst mass shooting on American soil, killing 58 and wounding hundreds more as he fired down on an outdoor country music concert in early October.
— 🇺🇸Patriot 24/7🇺🇸 (@TrumpTrain45Pac) October 11, 2017
The suit also said that the organizer, Live Nation Entertainment Inc., and unnamed promotion firms are guilty of negligence for not providing good enough exits for concert-goers.
“[We] want things put in place so this won’t happen to you or your family,” Gasper’s mother Heather Selken said to ABC reporter. Her attorney, Michelle Tuegel, said the lawsuit was filed to obtain “action and answers.”
A spokesperson for MGM Resorts, Debra DeShong, said, “As our company and city work through the healing process, our primary focus and concern is taking actions to support the victims and their families, our guests and employees and cooperating with law enforcement … Out of respect for the victims we are not going to try this case in the public domain and we will give our response through the appropriate legal channels.”
LiveNation said that it’s working with the FBI and is “unable to comment specifically on pending litigation.”
As Reuters reported, experts said claims such as Gasper’s would face an uphill battle.
Victor Schwartz, an attorney specializing in injury cases, said that in order to hold MGM liable, victims would have to show the company could have foreseen the shooting and taken steps to prevent it. That would be difficult for such an extreme event, he said.
Gasper’s lawsuit also accused Slide Fire Solutions, the maker of bump stock devices that were used by the gunman, of negligence, and design and manufacturing defects. The devices are legal and allow semiautomatic rifles to operate as if they were fully automatic machine guns, which are heavily restricted in the United States.
Such claims would have to survive a law passed by U.S. Congress in 2005 that shields manufacturers of firearms, component parts or ammunition from liability if their products are used to commit a crime. Legal experts said it was not clear whether the component parts definition applied to bump stock devices.
Slide Fire did not respond to requests for comment.
In a separate lawsuit filed over the weekend, a group of plaintiffs accused the makers of bump stocks of negligence for inflicting emotional distress on thousands of people.
Gasper also alleged battery and the intentional infliction of emotional distress against the estate of Paddock, arguing the shooter acted with malice and evil intent, causing her injuries.
Reuters contributed to this report