Las Vegas resort sues victims of America's worst-ever mass shooting to stop them taking legal action

Harriet Alexander
The Mandalay Bay hotel and casino, from where Stephen Paddock murdered 58 people on October 1 - Las Vegas Sun

The owners of the Las Vegas resort from where 58 people were killed in America’s worst-ever mass shooting have sued the victims, in a bid to prevent them taking legal action against the company.

MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mandalay Bay hotel and the Route 91 music festival, where the victims were gathered on October 1, has filed lawsuits against more than 1,000 victims.

The suits, filed in federal courts in California and Nevada, argue that MGM cannot be held liable for deaths and injuries from the mass shooting under a 2002 law passed by Congress.

The law gives immunity to companies that use "anti-terrorism" technology or services that can "help prevent and respond to mass violence".

MGM argue that the security company they contracted made use of such technology.

Debra DeShong, a spokesman for MGM, said that the action was being taken in the best interests of victims.

"Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing," she said.

Victims of the Vegas shooting await medical treatment on October 1 Credit: STEVE MARCUS/Reuters

Lawsuits have been filed against both MGM and concert promoter Live Nation, accusing the companies of not having adequate security or properly trained staff.

Yet a lawyer for some of the victims, Robert Eglet, called the pre-emptive action “outrageous”.

The FBI has yet to call the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas an act of terrorism, because the motive of the gunman, Stephen Paddock, remains unclear.

“I’ve never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal

“It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level.”