$800m for Route 91 Harvest victims
Survivors of the 2017 Route 91 Harvest massacre and their families will receive a collective pay-out of US$800 million, a US court has confirmed.
Hotel operator MGM Resorts International, whose Las Vegas Mandalay Bay hotel was the site of the shooting, agreed a settlement with victims last October, with the amount of compensation estimated at $735–800m depending on the amount of the claimants.
In her court order, Clark County, Nevada, judge Linda Bell said there was “near-unanimous participation in the settlement among potential claimants”, with a total of 4,400 claimants, according to the Associated Press, nudging the settlement towards the maximum $800m figure.
“We are grateful that the decision brings families, victims and the community closer to closure”
MGM acknowledges no liability for the attack, and will pay $49m of the settlement, compared to $751m from its insurance companies, reports AP.
Fifty-eight people were killed and a further 422 injured when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on Route 91 Harvest, a Live Nation-promoted open-air country music festival, from 32nd floor of the MGM Mandalay Bay on 1 October 2017.
The attack – the deadliest mass shooting in US history – also caused a mass panic that left another 800 festivalgoers injured.
“We are grateful that the decision brings families, victims and the community closer to closure,” says MGM in a statement.
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MGM to pay $735m to Route 91 shooting victims
Hotel operator MGM Resorts International has reached a settlement of between US$735 million and $800m with the victims and survivors of the 2017 shooting at Route 91 Harvest festival (22,000-cap.) in Las Vegas.
According to Las Vegas law firm Eglet Adams, the final amount of the settlement is dependent on how many claimants come forward.
MGM subsidiary Mandalay Corps owns the Mandalay Bay hotel, from where gunman Stephen Paddock killed 58 and wounded a further 422 people attending the open-air country music festival in October 2017. A further 800 festivalgoers were injured in the panic following the shooting.
Hundreds of law suits have since been filed against the hotel giant, which also owns the venue at which the festival was taking place.
“Today’s agreement marks a milestone in the recovery process for the victims of the horrifying events of 1 October,” says attorney Robert Eglet, whose firm represents almost 2,500 victims of the massacre.
“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.”
“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”
“We hope this resolution will provide some sense of closure to our clients,” adds fellow attorney Mo Aziz, a partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Azi, which represents more than 1,300 victims and survivors. “In this era of mass shootings, this settlement sends a strong message to the hospitality industry that all steps necessary to prevent mass shootings must be taken.”
MGM Resorts chairman and CEO Jim Murren, who says the deals represents “good corporate citizenship” on his company’s behalf, says, “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 had previously filed its own litigation against the victims in a bid to avoid liability. This settlement does not act as an admission of liability.
An IQ timeline of terror attacks at live music events and festivals predating the Las Vegas massacre is available here.
Anti-terrorism efforts at live events will form one focus of discussions at the Event Safety and Security Summit (E3S) on 8 October.
Lady Gaga announces “spectacular” Vegas residency
Lady Gaga’s upcoming Las Vegas residency will kick off on 28 December, promoter/producer Live Nation announced today, and comprise two distinct shows showcasing the star’s pop and jazz output.
Lady Gaga Enigma, which runs from 28 to 31 December 2018 and then intermittently from 17 January to 8 November 2019, is a “brand-new odyssey of her pop hits built as an experience unlike any other”, while Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano, taking place on 20 January, 3 February and 2 and 9 June 2019, will feature “stripped-down versions of her hits, as well as music from the Great American Songbook”, made famous by her 2014–15 collaboration with Tony Bennett.
All shows will take place at the 5,200-seat Park MGM, operated by MGM Resorts International.
“What she is planning for Las Vegas audiences is nothing short of spectacular”
Bill Hornbuckle, president of MGM Resorts International, says: “Working with Lady Gaga and her team has been a career highlight for me. What she is planning for Las Vegas audiences is nothing short of spectacular. Welcoming her into our family will firmly position Park MGM as the city’s most exciting new destination.”
“I can’t wait to share Enigma with all of my fans and with Las Vegas,” adds Lady Gaga. “We’re creating a show unlike anything I’ve done before. It will be a celebration of all that is unique and different within us. The challenges of bravery can be overcome with creativity and courage that is grown out of adversity, love and music.”
GA tickets are priced at US$77.90, with VIP options, including meet-and-greets, also available.
Live Nation has produced and promoted all Gaga’s tours since 2009–2011’s the Monster Ball tour, including, most recently, the Joanne world tour.
MGM sues festivalgoers to dodge Route 91 liability
MGM Resorts International, the company which owns the Route 91 Harvest festival site, has reportedly sued more than 1,000 victims of last October’s mass shooting in a bid to avoid liability for the attack.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, MGM – which also owns the Mandalay Bay hotel from where Stephen Paddock opened fire on festivalgoers – is citing a 2002 act that exempts from liability any “anti-terrorism” technology or services that can “help prevent and respond to mass violence.” In the case of Route 91 Harvest, the company’s lawyers say, that protection extends to MGM, as it had hired a security company for the festival, Contemporary Services, which had previously been certified by the US department of homeland security for “protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction”.
The federal lawsuits seek no money from victims, but rather a judgment on whether the 2002 law is applicable – and if so, prevent civil lawsuits against the hotel chain over the shooting, which left 59, including the shooter, dead.
“Years of drawn-out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing”
MGM, along with Paddock’s estate and festival promoter Live Nation, have been the target of several civil lawsuits since the shooting, with some of the most recent, filed in California in November, accusing MGM Resorts and its subsidiary, Mandalay Corp, of failing to properly monitor Paddock’s activities, train staff members and employ adequate security measures.
A statement from MGM Resorts confirms the litigation, arguing that all suits should be settled in US federal courts, rather than in Nevada. “Years of drawn-out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing,” it reads.
Las Vegas lawyer Robert Eglet, who is representing several of the victims, tells the Review-Journal that the decision to file the complaints in a US federal court as a “blatant display of judge shopping” that “quite frankly verges on unethical”. “I’ve never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like,” he says. “It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level.”
Route 91 Harvest litigation mounts up with new CA suits
Promoter Live Nation and hotel operator MGM Resorts have been slapped with another five lawsuits by the victims of the Route 91 Harvest mass shooting.
The five new suits, which also target the estate of shooter Stephen Paddock, have been filed in Los Angeles superior court, and follow the previously reported complaints lodged with courts in Nevada.
The largest of the lawsuits, reports news agency Reuters, was filed on behalf of 450 people who were either injured in or witnessed the shooting at the Las Vegas country music festival, which also left 59 people, including Paddock, dead. The other four, meanwhile, were brought by families of people who were killed or severely injured.
Similar to the Nevada suits – one of which, by shooting victim Paige Gasper, has now been withdrawn in favour of the lawsuit filed in California, where Live Nation is headquartered – the victims accuse MGM Resorts and its subsidiary, Mandalay Corp, which owns the hotel, of failing to properly monitor Paddock’s activities, train staff members and employ adequate security measures.
The five new suits, which also target the estate of shooter Stephen Paddock, have been filed in Los Angeles superior court
Live Nation is accused of negligence for “failing to provide adequate exits and properly train staff for an emergency”.
A court hearing on who will be appointed to administer Paddock’s estate is scheduled for 7 December.
Interestingly, while two of the Nevada lawsuits targeted Slide Fire Solutions, which manufactured the ‘bump stock’ device that allowed Paddock to achieve simulated automatic fire from semi-auto weapons, Slide Fire is not named in California, as lawyer Muhammad Aziz says most of his clients support the right to bear arms. “We want to focus on hotel and venue security, not turn this into a gun rights case,” he comments.
Live Nation does not comment on pending litigation.
Route 91 suits take aim at MGM, LN, bump-stock mfr
Those affected by last week’s mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas have begun seeking legal redress, with at least three separate lawsuits so far filed in US courts.
The most prominent individual suit – filed on behalf of Paige Gaisper, a 21-year-old Californian student who was shot in the underarm during the attack, which left more than 59 dead – names Live Nation, the promoter of the event; MGM Resorts, which owns the Mandalay Bay resort from where the shooter fired on concertgoers; and Slide Fire Solutions, which manufactured the ‘bump stock’ device that allowed him to achieve simulated automatic fire from semi-auto weapons.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Gasper’s complaint accuses MGM Resorts of “breach[ing] their duty of reasonable care” by failing to stop the gunman, Stephen Paddock, from bringing a cache of weapons into the hotel. She also alleges the company’s employees failed to respond quickly enough to the threat posed by Paddock, something MGM denies.
Live Nation, meanwhile, allegedly failed to “design, build and mark adequate exits in case of emergency” and “properly train and supervise employees in an appropriate plan of action in case of an emergency”.
Paige Gaisper, who was shot in the underarm, is suing MGM Resorts, Live Nation and bump-stock manufacturer Slide Fire
A second lawsuit – filed, like Gasper’s, in Clark County district court in Nevada – on behalf of all festivalgoers by gun-control group Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence also takes aim at Slide Fire.
A third complaint, brought by the family of John Phippen, who died in the attack, petitions a judge to appoint a special administrator to take over Paddock’s estate.
Several enterprising law firms, meanwhile – as was the case after Fyre Festival – have begun actively soliciting new lawsuits by taking out sponsored ads on Google, with one, California’s Oaks Law Firm, registering the domain vegaslawsuit.com:
YouTube agreed earlier this week to remove videos showing how to attack bump stocks, which work by using recoil to simulate fully automatic fire, to guns. “We have long had a policy against harmful and dangerous content,” said a spokesperson in a statement. “In the wake of the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, we have taken a closer look at videos that demonstrate how to convert firearms to make them fire more quickly and we’ve expanded our existing policy to prohibit these videos.”
Several artists, including Jennifer Lopez and Jason Aldean, cancelled planned shows in Vegas in the aftermath of the attack. Others, such as Celine Dion, Billy Idol and John Fogerty, opted instead to play as normal, with Fogerty saying live music has a “way of healing, and that is what we will do: come together and heal. We can’t let fear control our lives.”