MGM Resorts International has filed federal lawsuits against more than 1,000 Las Vegas mass shooting victims in an effort to avoid liability, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The company, which owns Mandalay Bay and the Route 91 Harvest festival venue, argues that it cannot be held liable for Oct. 1 deaths, injuries or other damages, adding that any claims against MGM parties “must be dismissed. … “Plaintiffs have no liability of any kind to defendants.” The company cites a 2002 federal law that extends liability protection to any company that uses “anti-terrorism” technology or services that can “help prevent and respond to mass violence.”
In this case, the company argues that the security vendor MGM hired for the festival, Contemporary Services Corp., was protected from liability because its services had been certified by the Department of Homeland Security for “protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction.” MGM said the cases belong in federal court and that “Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing.” Las Vegas attorney Robert Eglet, who has represented Oct. 1 victims, called the MGM action a “blatant display of judge shopping” that “quite frankly verges on unethical.” The FBI has not called the Las Vegas mass shooting an act of terrorism because the gunman had no clear motive, and the FBI defines terrorism as an act of terror associated with extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial or environmental nature. The gunman opened fire from his Mandalay Bay suite, killing 58 concertgoers and injuring hundreds of others.