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‘A stunt’: Outrage builds over MGM Resorts’ decision to sue victims of Las Vegas massacre

, USA TODAY Published 11:37 a.m. ET July 17, 2018

A lawsuit filed by MGM Resorts International, owner of the Las Vegas hotel from which Stephen Paddock fatally shot 58 people and wounded hundreds, is drawing outrage from survivors of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The suit filed against hundreds of the victims of the rampage Oct. 1 outside the Mandalay Bay hotel claims the entertainment giant has “no liability of any kind.”

MGM said in a statement the filing was meant to provide a “timely resolution” for shooting victims who sued or will sue in the aftermath of the attack during the Route 91 Harvest Festival. MGM said litigation filed against it “must be dismissed.”

“The unforeseeable events of October 1st affected thousands of people in Las Vegas and throughout North America,” MGM Resorts spokeswoman Debra DeShong said in a statement. “From the day of this tragedy, we have focused on the recovery of those impacted by the despicable act of one evil individual.”

More: ‘There’s people shot everywhere!’: Las Vegas shooting 911 calls released

More: Documents detail terror, chaos during deadly Las Vegas shooting rampage

Brian Claypool, a survivor of the rampage who represents 75 survivors and victims’ family members, called MGM’s lawsuit “a stunt” that won’t survive a court challenge.

“I am still in therapy once a week, and this is their way of trying to solve the problem,” he said. “It’s shifting responsibility and minimizing their blatant negligence.”

Robert Eglet, whose firm represents hundreds of people in the case, dismissed MGM’s claim as “outrageous” and accused the company of trying to intimidate victims. Very few of his clients have filed suit and some never will, he said.

“In my 30 years of practice, this is the most reprehensible behavior I have ever seen a defendant engage in,” Eglet said. “They are trying to victimize these people twice.”

MGM’s lawsuit claims the case must be dealt with in federal court under terms of the post-9/11 Safety Act, which provides incentives for development and deployment of anti-terrorism technologies. The company says the security firm it contracted for the concert, CSC, was approved by the Department of Homeland Security, thus released from liability under the act.

Eglet and Claypool said that release does not extend to the hotel.

“The Safety Act doesn’t apply to them, it applies to CSC,” Eglet said. “MGM has nothing to do with CSC.”

Eglet said there was no reason to file the suit since the issue of jurisdiction is already being argued in court. He said MGM is “judge shopping.”

“They are trying to find a judge they like,” he said. “All they have done is cause a tremendous amount of stress, pouring gasoline on the fire.”

Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law in Virginia, said the company may be able to convince a federal judge with its arguments, but that would come at a price.

“Even if MGM is successful, that may not outweigh the adverse publicity for the company that the suit generates,” he told USA TODAY.

MGM took a hit on social media.

“This is just OUTRAGEOUS & WRONG,” tweeted JoAnn Smith, whose profile says she is a security officer in Las Vegas. Crypto Contrarian tweeted that “being a Las Vegan, I must speak out about this. Can MGM not see how harmful this will be?”

Paddock fired more than 1,000 rounds from a 32nd-floor hotel room overlooking the concert. He was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the room.

Numerous lawyers in Las Vegas feature the shooting on their websites, some calling out MGM and the concert promoter for providing inadequate security.

“A gunman bringing more than two dozen firearms into a hotel room, including military-style assault weapons, is almost unthinkable,” the Ladah Law Firm says on its website. “There are serious questions about the security procedures at the Mandalay Bay.”

The write-up says, “If you so much as take a casino chip off of a table you will no doubt be immediately surrounded by security guards; yet, nothing was done in this case.”

Claypool said MGM should spend money on safety consultants, not lawyers developing “desperate arguments” designed to avoid responsibility.

“Fixing security would be the socially responsible thing to do,” he said. “But instead they’re offending every person on the planet with their moral indignity.”

‘ABSOLUTE CHAOS’ Eminem fans ‘trampled


Eminem fans ‘trampled on and left struggling to breathe’ after thousands of concert-goers bags ‘dumped on floor’ after Twickenham gig

Tom Rosher witnessed people being ‘trampled on’ as others rushed to collect their belongings at Twickenham Stadium, West London

By Aletha Adu

15th July 2018

EMINEM fans were trampled on in chaotic scenes after thousands of bags were “dumped on the floor” for concert-goers to collect after the show.

Fans who flocked to London’s Twickenham Stadium on Saturday night said security officials sparked a violent free-for-all with people’s belongings after the concert.

A sea of Eminem fans left waiting for at least 90 minutes, after finding their belongings ‘dumped on the floor’, before chaotic scenes

Tom Rosher, 21, from West London, witnessed people being “trampled on” and “left struggling to breathe” as others rushed to collected their belongings which were left open to theft.

He told Sun Online: “People were being pushed against fences, people were being trampled on, while some were falling over left, right and centre.

“Other people were struggling to breathe, it was absolutely mental. A huge guy used my girlfriend as a leaning post as he forced himself past hundreds to get to his belongings.

“The officials had no clue. They were just standing there like headless chickens.”

Eminem performing at Twickenham’s Stadium on July 14

Tom said security staff forced him to leave his girlfriend’s Michael Kors bag, worth more than £100, in a storage container upon entry, even though it met stadium rules.

He also claimed he saw other concert-goers with huge rucksacks on their back inside the venue.

Tom said: “Who thought it would be a good idea to have six members of staff, monitoring containers which had thousands of people’s belongings?

“When fights started breaking out, one official picked up a random Gucci bag and asked whose it was? I saw this randomer think to himself before claiming it.

Twickenham Stadium advised fans to not bring bags, and if they did, it could only be an A5 size

“Anyone with malicious intent, could enter the gig with a £20 bag, and leave with one worth more than £200.”

“When I asked [security] what happened one said ‘It’s not my fault, it’s not my fault, I’m new’. Another said ‘I’m not paid enough to deal with this’.”

Dozens of fans questioned why stadium officials introduced the bag policy if they were not going to follow it.

One said: “Poor form at Twickers last night for Eminem. No consistency with allowed bag sizes and the bag drop off, was a disgraceful mess/free-for-all.

“Pointless putting tickets on bags, if no staff are there to monitor it. Bags could’ve been easily stolen! #twickenhamstadium #Eminem.”

The mum of one Eminem fan said: “My son was forced to miss transport home due to lack of organisation when collecting his bag!! #Twickenham #Eminem #outofpocket this ruined what should have been a fantastic night that he saved for….. what a joke!!”

Stadium officials offered online guidance on what type of bags to bring, which said:”Eminem along with his touring partners and Twickenham Stadium strongly encourages fans to not bring any type of bags to this show.

“Fans however will be able to carry… small clutch bags approximately A5 size with or without a handle or strap.

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