In the aftermath of a horrific mass shooting, it is important to take a step back and analyze how the shooting occurred and what could be done to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again. With regard to the Las Vegas shooting, an investigation into the shooter and how he was able to secure a room in the MGM Mandalay Bay hotel and transport large quantities of firearms without detection indicates that certain individuals and/or businesses were negligent and that negligence proximately caused the shooter to be able to carry out this dastardly act in October 2017.
For example, a few weeks after the shooting, multiple lawsuits were filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against MGM Resorts International, Live Nation, and the estate of the shooter. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of 450 named plaintiffs. The lawsuits claim that MGM’s Mandalay Bay hotel and Live Nation were negligent in their actions leading up to the horrific shooting, according to Law360. Specifically, the lawsuits allege that Mandalay Bay had ineffective security policies and protocols, staff that was not properly trained to identify suspicious actions by guests and visitors, and inadequate surveillance. In addition, the lawsuit makes specific claims against the estate of the domestic terrorist, including assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In response to the numerous lawsuits filed by the shooting victims, MGM filed its own lawsuit declaring that the claims against the corporation “must be dismissed” because the hotel outsourced security services to Contemporary Services Corporation, a company certified by the Department of Homeland Security “for protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction.” MGM’s legal theory asserted that private companies relying on these approved services are granted certain protections from civil liability under the 2002 Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act, according to PBS.
Many legal experts raised concerns with MGM’s rationale by highlighting the fact that the SAFETY Act does not shield a private company from civil liability protections “unless or until the secretary of Homeland Security declared an underlying event an act of terrorism.” The Las Vegas shooting has not received such a declaration by DHS. Ultimately, MGM’s legal theory did not prevail and a court denied MGM’s request to have several lawsuits and counter-lawsuits coordinated by a single Federal judge, according to Forbes.
In addition to lawsuits filed against MGM, Live Nation, etc. a legal action was filed against Slide Fire Solutions LP, the manufacturer of the bump stock used by the Mandalay Bay shooter. The lawsuit alleges that the shooter could not have injured and killed so many people without a bump stock. The civil lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and noted the fact that Slide Fire Solutions made more than $10 million in bump stock sales during its first year and sold upward of 35,000 units in 2011, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
As you can see, it is possible to pursue civil legal remedies in the aftermath of a terrible mass shooting. If you or a loved one was a victim of a mass shooting, it is advisable to seek the counsel of an attorney to discuss your legal options or if there is pending litigation related to the shooting.