$800 Million Price Tag For Las Vegas Shootings?
MGM Resorts last week said that it is prepared to fork out as much as $800 million in damages to victims of the October 1, 2017 shooting. Insurance will reportedly cover $750 million of that total, but not so fast say lawyers for the plaintiffs, who have barely even begun to negotiate.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, MGM Resorts has reportedly said to expect damages of $800 million in connection with the lawsuits filed by victims of the shooting at Mandalay Bay on October 1, 2017 that killed 58 people and injured more than 800. The company says it has insurance that will cover $751 million of that total.
But that’s news to lawyers from the plaintiffs. Robert Eglet, who is negotiating for more than 2,500 of the victims, says talks have barely begun.
“We’re not even close to resolving all the terms and issues before we have a settlement,” said Eglet. “Nothing is signed. We have a long way to go before we have an agreement.”
The suits mostly allege that MGM is responsible for their physical and psychological injuries because the company allowed shooter Steven Paddock accumulate an arsenal of weapons in his Mandalay Bay room where he launched his attack.
MGM believes that such a settlement is possible.
“MGM’s stated goal regarding mediation is, as it always has been, to resolve these matters so that all impacted can move forward in their healing process,” spokeswoman Debra DeShong said in an statement.
“After multiple mediation sessions over several months, progress has been made, and while mediation is ongoing, the company believes it is reasonably possible that a settlement will be reached,” she said.
Eglet says nothing is certain.
“I wouldn’t be involved in mediation for three months if it wasn’t possible,” Eglet said. “But it’s not probable—it’s possible. We may get a settlement, but we may not.”
It’s unclear how many of the suits are under negotiation. MGM Resorts filed suit to consolidate the complaints into one lawsuit in a federal court where its liability could be defended, but was rejected by a judge. And when it was reported that MGM has sued the victims, an MGM boycott was launched by several victims groups.
MGM still doesn’t believe it is liable. The SEC filing said the company “continues to believe it is not legally responsible for the perpetrator’s criminal acts,” but would seek to settle “in the interest of avoiding protracted litigation and the related impact on the community,” according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.