Las Vegas Judge Nixes Bid to Sue Genting for Resorts World Manila Massacre

Posted on: June 12, 2021, 05:56h. 

Last updated on: June 13, 2021, 10:25h.

The family of two casino-goers killed in the deadly 2017 attack on Resorts World Manila in the Philippines cannot pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in Las Vegas. That’s because Resorts World Las Vegas is a separate entity, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Resorts Word Manila
Plumes of smoke rise from Resorts Word Manila in the aftermath of Carlos’ attack on June 2, 2017. (Image: New York Times)

On Thursday, a Nevada district judge dismissed the case brought by relatives of victims Tung-Tsung Hung and Pi-Ling Lee Hung, citing lack of jurisdiction. The plaintiffs said they wanted to sue in Nevada because they claimed they could not get justice in the Philippines.

The lawsuit named Resorts World Las Vegas LLC, Resorts World Manila, parent Genting Berhad, and its chairman, Kok Thay Lim, among other entities.

“The occurrence did not occur here and there are no witnesses here,” concluded District Judge Nancy Allf, as reported by LVRJ.

Deadly Resorts World Rampage

The Hungs were VIP guests at Resorts World Manila when the actions of a disturbed 42-year-old Filipino, Jessie Javier Carlos, caused the deaths of 37 people.

Just before midnight on June 2, 2017, Carlos entered the casino resort armed with a semiautomatic rifle. He torched gaming tables and shot up slot machine banks before setting himself on fire and shooting himself in the head.

While Carlos never actually fired at anyone, his victims died of suffocation from smoke and toxic fumes, while nearly 70 others were injured in a stampede to escape the building.

According to the lawsuit, Resorts World employees led the Hungs and other guests into a pantry in the VIP room in a bid to protect them. They died there from smoke inhalation.

The attack preceded the Mandalay Bay shooting in Las Vegas, which killed 58 people, by four months.

In the aftermath of Carlos’ rampage, regulators accused Resorts World Manila of lax security and poor health and safety measures. Investigators concluded the high death toll from the single assassin was a result of improper evacuation exits inside the casino.

Corruption and Coverups

Lawyers for the plaintiffs claimed that “corruption” and “cover-ups” in the Philippines would prevent them from getting a fair trial. They argued that Nevada became the jurisdiction when Resorts World received licensing in the state.

The $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas is scheduled to open in just under two weeks. It is located on the site of the Stardust and will open after eight years of planning, construction, and delays.

While Resorts World Las Vegas LLC is wholly owned by Genting, Resorts World Manila is owned and operated by Travellers International, a joint venture between Genting and Philippine conglomerate Alliance Global Group.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said they intend to appeal because they are concerned safety failings could be repeated at the Las Vegas property.

“We are still looking for justice. Human life is precious,” said one, Hwa-Min Hsu. “It’s not going to be the end. Because in the Philippines, there’s no justice. And I don’t want to see this happening to Americans.”