The 2017 music festival shooting in Las Vegas left 58 dead and hundreds injured, marking it as the deadliest mass shooting in history. Today, The New York Times reports that MGM Resorts, the owner of the hotel where the shooting took place, has agreed to pay $800 million in settlements to lawsuits filed by the victims of the shooting. About 2,500 victims filed suit against MGM, owner of the Mandalay Bay hotel, accusing the hotel of negligence in allowing the shooter, Stephen Paddock, to stockpile weapons in his room.
MGM actually preemptively sued 1,000 victims after they expressed interest in taking legal action against the company in the wake of the shootings in an effort to avoid taking responsibility. The company tried to use the Support Antiterrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act to claim that the shooting qualified as an act of terrorism. The SAFETY Act was passed in the wake of the September 11 New York World Trade Center attacks to protect companies from liability in certain cases. However, the Act was passed to protect the providers of “qualified anti-terrorism technology” from punitive damages; MGM may not have qualified, but eventually withdrew its claims due to the natural backlash to such an action.
Robert Eglet, the attorney representing the victims, said in statement: “While nothing will be able to bring back the lives lost or undo the horrors so many suffered on that day, this settlement will provide fair compensation for thousands of victims and their families.”