Why is MGM Suing the Victims of the Las Vegas Shooting?
MGM Resorts, the owner of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, has filed in several federal U.S. District Courts for a judgment against victims of a mass shooting that took place there several years ago. This may make for sensational headlines but what is the truth behind the lawsuit? We are looking closer at the case to ensure that the public understands what the suit means and what it does not mean.
First: Understanding a declaratory judgement
The first thing to understand is that MGM Resorts has filed a lawsuit in which they are asking for a declaratory judgement against the hundreds of victims who are suing them. This is not a lawsuit in which they are suing for money or anything like it. instead, a declaratory judgement is a lawsuit in which a party asks the court to decide on the rights of parties who are not in agreement of obligation.
Declaratory judgements are most often used to resolve disputes involving insurance coverage. They do not involve a jury and are helpful when parties are not clear about or in agreement about a statute. They can be a good way for both parties to get a judicial decision without the cost and hassle of further litigation.
MGM Does not want to be sued
The bottom line is that MGM does not believe that they can be held legally liable for the shooting and for the 1,000+ victims named in the lawsuits against them. The company is not actually suing all of the victims, as has previously been reported, but rather just those who have given notice or already sued them. MGM says that that a drawn out litigation is not the best solution for anyone – including the victims – and wants the Federal Court to make a decision.
A few words about the SAFETY ACT
Much of this request is based on a law that was passed after the 9-11 terror attacks. Known as the SAFETY ACT, the Support Antiterrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act is manet to shield those who make security equipment and those who provide security services from being held liable if they do not prevent a terrorist attack. Since federal law defines terrorism as unlawful acts that cause mass destruction, it seems that the SAFETY ACT may apply.
Though the federal law has only been used for products and services in the past, such as software, planning, and sensors, MGM believes that it leaves them not at fault under federal law because they did hire a security company for the concert and that security company was certified by the Department of Homeland Security.
This case is ongoing and we will be following it closely. The fact of the matter is that this case resulted in mass casualties and catastrophic injuries to hundreds of people. The victims are right to believe that they have a right to counsel from qualified personal injury attorneys. If you believe you do as well then we encourage you to contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.