MGM Resorts International has reached an agreement to pay up to $800 million to settle lawsuits from victims of the October 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas, which left 58 people dead and hundreds injured, according to the New York Times.
The killer, Stephen Paddock, barricaded himself in his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, which MGM owns, and then fired into the crowd at the festival below. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
Robert Eglet, a lawyer for the victims, said today that the settlement would be in the range of $735 million to $800 million and would resolve “substantially all” of the lawsuits and claims against the company related to the shooting.
“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,” Eglet said in a statement. He added that MGM is practicing “good corporate citizenship” with the deal.
The company had at first responded with an aggressive legal strategy when claims poured in from the injured and the relatives of the dead, who accused MGM of negligence in allowing Mr. Paddock to stockpile high-powered rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition in his hotel room.
MGM had initially aimed to block victims from recovering any money, arguing that a little-known federal law passed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks protected the company from liability because the shooting qualified as an “act of terrorism,” and that a security firm hired for the concert was under a special designation from the Department of Homeland Security. As part of that strategy, MGM sued more than 1,000 people who had already filed lawsuits or signaled an intent to pursue claims against the company.
The strategy did not enhance MGM’s reputation, and today’s settlement was likely influenced by the criticism it received.