MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, filed lawsuits on Friday against the Las Vegas shooting victims, saying they cannot be held liable for the deaths or injuries resulting from the October 2017 massacre.
In a suit filed in federal courts in Nevada and California, MGM said any claims made by victims of the shooting must be dismissed, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The company alleges that because it hired a security vendor, Contemporary Services Corp., for its Route 91 Harvest festival venue, it is covered under a 2002 federal law that extends liability protection to any company that uses anti-terrorism technologies that can “help prevent and respond to mass violence.”
MGM said it is protected because the security vendor was certified by the Department of Homeland Security for “protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction,” the report states.
More than 450 victims filed lawsuits against MGM and other defendants in November 2017 claiming wrongful deaths and negligence, among other things, after a gunman opened fire from his Mandalay Bay hotel room, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds of others at a music festival in Las Vegas. (RELATED: Mandalay Bay Staff Had Multiple Interactions With Las Vegas Shooter Before Massacre)
MGM is not asking for money from the victims, just that the courts decide if the protection law, titled the SAFETY Act, is applicable, and if so, dismiss the hundreds of claims against them.
“The Federal Court is an appropriate venue for these cases and provides those affected with the opportunity for a timely resolution. Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing,” MGM spokeswoman Debra DeShong said in a statement obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Representatives of the victims said this lawsuit is an attempt to get the cases heard in a federal court rather than a state court, and that MGM thinks it will have a better chance of winning if this is the case.
Las Vegas lawyer Robert Eglet, who is representing several victims, said this move 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 told the Review-Journal. “It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level.”
Because the gunman’s motive is still unknown, the FBI could not deem the shooting an act of terrorism, but the 2002 law in question passed after the Sept. 11 attacks defines any illegal act undertaken in the U.S. that causes “mass destruction, injury or other loss.”
Email tips to email@example.com
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.