More than 4,400 relatives and victims of the deadliest mass shootings in recent US history could receive payouts totaling $ 800 million from MGM Resorts International and its insurers by January, the casino giant and lawyers said Thursday.
After spending a year negotiating details, Robert Eglet, the attorney who settled dozen of lawsuits, filed documents asking a judge in Nevada to authorize full hearings that involved an impressive number of Plaintiffs from almost every US state, at least eight Canadians, involved provinces, the UK, Iran and Ireland.
The line-by-line list of victims, indicated only by initials, comprises more than 170 pages of a 225-page civil lawsuit demanding compensation and punitive damages from MGM Resorts. It accuses the casino company of negligence, unjustified death, and liability in the 2017 shooting that killed 58 people and injured more than 850 others on the Las Vegas Strip.
A man with military style guns rained gunshots at a crowd at an outdoor country music festival from his room on the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay Resort, which MGM Resorts owns.
The company has not recognized any liability. It will pay $ 49 million while insurance companies will pay $ 751 million, both sides said.
A separate document declares the case settled and requests Clark District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell to set a date for raising objections. Bell could have scheduled a hearing by the third anniversary of the October 1, 2017 massacre.
"It is clear that the case was settled in good faith," said Eglet on behalf of his over 2,000 clients and dozen of law firms and attorneys in at least 10 states who originally filed lawsuits and eventually joined the consolidated settlement.
"Everyone has realized that there are no winners in long, drawn-out, multi-judicial litigation where people and the community relive the event every time we try a case," he told The Associated Press.
In a statement, MGM Resorts called the court records "the next steps in the settlement process … bringing all parties closer to the closure so the community can continue to heal".
Eglet said millions of dollars could go to the most severely and permanently injured, depending on factors such as age, number of loved ones, type of injuries, previous and future medical treatment, and ability to work.
At least $ 5,000 would go to anyone who made a claim for invisible injuries and was not seeking medical help or therapy, he said.
Eglet said the amounts paid out are determined by two administrators – retired Nevada Judge Jennifer Togliatti and retired California Judge Louis Meisinger – with the help of Virginia-based law firm BrownGreer for claims management.
"We are confident it will be by the end of this year, but a lot could depend on objections and how quickly and efficiently the administrators can finish their jobs." You have a lot to do, ”said Eglet.
This week's court records make no mention of gunman Stephen Paddock, who killed himself when police got closer. Las Vegas police and the FBI discovered that the 64-year-old retired accountant and high-stakes poker player meticulously planned the attack and acted alone. They suspected he might have been looking for notoriety, but said they had never identified a clear motive for the attack.
In various court cases, victims and families accused MGM Resorts of failing to protect the people at the venue they owned or of preventing the shooter from amassing an arsenal of assault weapons and ammunition several days before it opened.