MGM Resorts Faces Up to $800 Million In Settlements Over Route 91 Festival Massacre
Two years after the horrific Route 91 Festival shootings, MGM Resorts International may finally settle with hundreds of victims.
That’s according to a recently quarter filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The company’s willingness to settle represents a major change from its position last year.
In an attempt to avoid being held liable for the Las Vegas shooting that left 58 dead and over 800 others injured, the owner of the Mandalay Bay, MGM Resorts International, filed lawsuits against more than 1,000 victims of the October 1st, 2017 shooting.
The lawsuits argued that the security company which MGM hired for the Route 91 Festival, Contemporary Services Corp., wasn’t liable. Contemporary Services Corp. had been certified to protect against and respond to acts involving mass destruction and injury.
MGM hadn’t sought money or compensations from any of the victims. Instead, the preemptive lawsuits – filed in Nevada and California – only served to prevent any future litigation from the victims.
Still claiming it doesn’t remain responsible for shooter Stephen Paddock’s horrific act – and thus, shouldn’t have to settle – the company wrote in the 10-Q filing (emphasis mine),
“Although the Company continues to believe it is not legally responsible for the perpetrator’s criminal acts, in the interest of avoiding protracted litigation and the related impact on the community, the Company believes it is reasonably possible that continued mediation communications will result in a settlement with respect to the Claimants of approximately $735 million, subject to and depending on obtaining a minimum level of participation with escalators based on greater participation increasing the amount payable up to $800 million in the event of 100% participation.”
MGM Resorts International stated it remains in mediation with attorneys representing the plaintiffs.
Speaking about the possible settlement, an MGM Resorts International spokesperson told The Las Vegas Review-Journal,
“MGM’s stated goal regarding mediation is, as it always has been, to resolve these matters so that all impacted can move forward in their healing process.
“After multiple mediation sessions over several months, progress has been made, and while mediation is ongoing, the company believes it is reasonably possible that a settlement will be reached.”
Yet, Robert Eglet, a Las Vegas trial lawyer representing the 2,500 victims, lambasted the company for prematurely reporting the settlement.
“When I first read it, it almost implies we’re really close to a settlement, and that’s just not true.”
In fact, added Eglet, the $800 million settlement only remains a possibility, not a “probability.”
“I wouldn’t be involved in mediation for three months if it wasn’t possible. But it’s not probable — it’s possible. We may get a settlement, but we may not.”
Both sides have also discussed possible settlement figures.
“We’ve thrown out numbers, they’ve thrown out numbers, but there’s no agreements on anything.”
Eglet’s clients have sought compensation over the physical and psychological harm caused by Stephen Paddock. From his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Paddock fired into the large crowd of festivalgoers.
Under a law passed in 2002, MGM Resorts International could potentially avoid liability for the attack.
Featured image by James Marvin Phelps (CC by 2.0).