MGM Resorts Settles With 2017 Mass Shooting Victims for $735M-$800M

Posted on: October 3, 2019, 08:50h. 

Last updated on: October 3, 2019, 10:13h.

MGM Resorts has reached a major settlement with plaintiffs who have pending lawsuits against the casino operator stemming from the October 1, 2017, mass shooting that left 58 victims dead and more than 800 others injured.

MGM Resorts settlement shooting
MGM Resorts, predominantly through its insurance coverage, is settling 2017 shooting lawsuits for as much as $800 million. (Image: AP)

Nevada’s largest employer and owner of the most casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, MGM announced the settlement amount is expected to range between $735 million and $800 million. The final total is subject to the number of claimants who “choose to participate in the settlement.” The process is expected to conclude late next year.

Our goal has always been to resolve these matters so our community and the victims and their families can move forward in the healing process. This agreement with the Plaintiffs’ Counsel is a major step, and one that we hoped for a long time would be possible,” MGM Resorts Jim Murren said in prepared remarks.

“We have always believed that prolonged litigation around these matters is in no one’s best interest. It is our sincere hope that this agreement means that scenario will be avoided,” the chief executive added.

MGM Not Guilty

Two years ago this week, Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of MGM’s Mandalay Bay. He sprayed bullets using bump stocks that allowed his semi-automatics to mimic the firing motion of fully automatic weapons. The FBI was not able to determine a motive for Paddock’s actions.

MGM’s legal liability was called into question. Answers needed included:

How was a guest able to stockpile an arsenal of weapons into his hotel room?

Why was he permitted to use a service elevator to bring up his large luggage pieces, which turned out to be concealing guns, ammunition, and surveillance equipment?

Why was Paddock’s room able to go uninspected for numerous days?

MGM also owned Las Vegas Village, the outdoor space across the Strip from Mandalay Bay that hosted the country music festival. Attendees said there were not adequate exits to escape the spraying bullets.

With 58 dead and 851 injured, the cost to defend lawsuit by lawsuit would have been endless, as would be the litigation process. MGM wanted to take care of them all in one lump sum manner, which they primarily did with this week’s settlement announcement.

Under the agreement, “The parties will dismiss and release all pending litigation, including the Participating Claimants’ claims against MGM Resorts and additional parties named in those claims, and the declaratory-relief actions filed by MGM Resorts,” the statement explains. “The proposed settlement is not an admission of liability by MGM Resorts.”

Victim Compensation

MGM says an independent claims administrator will be appointed by the court to allocate the settlement funds. The casino giant’s insurance coverage will provide $751 million.

While nothing will be able to bring back the lives lost or undo the horrors so many suffered on that day, this settlement will provide fair compensation for thousands of victims and their families,” lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel Robert Eglet said.

“MGM Resorts is a valued member of the Las Vegas community and this settlement represents good corporate citizenship on their part. We believe that the terms of this settlement represent the best outcome for our clients and will provide the greatest good for those impacted by these events,” the attorney concluded.

More than $31 million was raised by the online Las Vegas Victims Fund. Estates or next of kin for each of the 58 dead received $275,000, as did 10 others who suffered permanent paralysis or brain damage.