Vegas Shooting Victims Sue Hotel for Not Doing More to Prevent Tragedy
Hundreds of Las Vegas shooting victims are suing the hotel the killer used as a vantage point to shoot from, claiming that the hotel’s operators failed to heed warning signs that could have prevented the deadly attack that left 58 people dead and over 500 injured, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The new lawsuits, filed on Monday, Nov. 20, were brought against the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and its parent company MGM Resorts International, adding to the over 15 lawsuits already filed since the Oct. 1 mass murder.
Victims are also suing the shooter Stephen Paddock’s estate, the concert organizer Live Nation Entertainment Inc. according to Rolling Stone. Previous lawsuits from the Las Vegas shooting have gone after the manufacturer of the “bump stocks” that let Paddock fire as if from a machine gun.
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The plaintiffs in the newest round of legal action say MGM and the Mandalay Bay failed to take precautionary measures that might have prevented the attack. The parties behind the lawsuit argue that staff should have been better trained to look out for warning signs that Paddock displayed, Business Insider reported.
From the moment when Paddock first checked into the hotel all the way up to when he started firing from his window at concertgoers across the street, the shooter brought up a minimum of 10 suitcases full of guns to his room. Police said Paddock also set up an intricate surveillance system in the hotel, with two cameras outside his suite in the hallway and another in the peephole of his door.
One predictor of the lawsuit’s success is legal precedent, and in this regard a recent Nevada Supreme Court ruling could spell trouble for the MGM legal team.
The October 2017 decision stated that MGM could be held liable for a 2010 assault on a California couple at one of the company’s hotels, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. According to the ruling, the attack was “foreseeable” because similar incidents had taken place earlier at the hotel.
The question of whether the Las Vegas shooting was foreseeable is likely to be crucial in the Mandalay Bay lawsuits, reported Business Insider.
“Foreseeability is one of the key components of liability,” said Dick Hudak, a managing partner of Resort Security Consulting, according to Business Insider.
And in light of the increased incidence of high-profile mass shootings in the US prior to the Las Vegas incident, attorneys representing the plaintiffs may be able to make a convincing case that hotels and other venues can reasonably be expected to be better prepared to prevent them.