MGM Estimates $800 Million Settlement for Las Vegas Shooting Victims, ‘Not Even Close,’ Says Lawyer
Posted on: May 17, 2019, 07:32h.
Last updated on: May 17, 2019, 07:32h.
MGM Resorts International said Thursday it could reasonably expect to pay around $800 million to settle lawsuits related to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the casino giant said settlements could be reached by next May.
Since last October, MGM has been engaged in mediation with victims and family members of those who lost their lives in the worst massacre in modern American history.
MGM is the owner of the Mandalay Bay, where shooter Stephen Paddock was able to stockpile a cache of rifles equipped with rapid-fire bump stocks in his room on the 32nd floor.
It also owns the land that was used for the open-air country music concert that Paddock targeted. The 63-year-old former accountant rained down bullets into the crowd, murdering 58 people and injuring over 500.
In the aftermath of the shooting, over four thousand joined class-action lawsuits accusing MGM of a failure of duty of reasonable care to monitor Paddock’s activity.
For instance, Paddock’s VIP status at Mandalay Bay allowed him “exclusive access” to a service elevator, which may have made it easier for him to smuggle firearms into his room.
Meanwhile, Paddock was allowed to hang a “do not disturb” sign on his door for three days without staff performing a welfare check that might have discovered his intentions.
MGM kickstarted a public relations catastrophe for itself last July when it announced it would sue the victims of the massacre.
The company was not seeking money from the victims but hoped to consolidate the lawsuits that were mounting in multiple states into one federal case, where it planned to argue that an obscure anti-terrorism law protected it from liability.
In October, a panel of federal judges found no reason to consolidate the litigation, making mediation the company’s best course of action to avoid years of costly litigation in multiple jurisdictions.
But a lawyer for some of the victims told the Associated Press Thursday it was way too early for MGM to come up with a settlement range of between $735 million and $800 million.
While he agreed that mediation needed to be wrapped up within a year, he said a settlement was possible “but not probable” — meaning the matter is still likely to go to court — adding that the figure estimated by MGM was “not even close.”
“Nothing is signed,” he said. “We have a long way to go before we have an agreement.”