Lawyers for MGM Resorts International, which also owns the venue where the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival was held, has asked a judge to find that the company is not liable for deaths, injuries or damage caused at the event.
After Stephen Paddock opened fire at festival goers from the Mandalay Bay hotel, killing 58 and wounding about 500, more than 2,500 individuals brought, or threatened to bring, lawsuits against MGM, the company said in its complaint, filed July 13 in Las Vegas federal court.
The lawsuits do not seek any money from the victims but argue that any claims against MGM parties must be dismissed.
"Plaintiffs have no liability of any kind to defendants", reads the complaint, filed in Nevada and California on Friday. MGM says the security company it hired for the festival, Contemporary Services Corp., was protected from liability and certified by the Department of Homeland Security to handle "acts of mass injury and destruction".
Companies providing such products and services had been reluctant to do so for fear they'd be liable in a terrorist attack, but the 2002 law limits liability and allows companies to assert a government contractor defense for claims stemming from terrorism.
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"The Federal Court is an appropriate venue for these cases and provides those affected with the opportunity for a timely resolution", MGM Resorts International spokesperson Debra DeShong said Monday in a statement obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "It's just really sad that they would stoop to this level", he told the Review-Journal.
The Review-Journal quoted a lawyer for some victims, Robert Eglet, who accused MGM of court shopping.
Paddock had set up a firing point with 23 weapons in the Mandalay Bay overlooking the Route 91 Harvest festival, also owned by MGM, on 1 October previous year.
The massacre occurred on the night of October 1 during a country music festival on the Las Vegas strip.
The SAFETY Act provides incentives for the development and deployment of anti-terrorism technologies by creating systems of risk and litigation management.
The filing comes after more than 450 victims and their families filed a lawsuit against a number of entities, including MGM and the killer's estate, last November.