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MGM Resorts agrees $800 million settlement with victims of Route 91 Harvest festival shooting

By | Published on Friday 4 October 2019

Route 91 Harvest

The hotel company that owns the site where the Route 91 Harvest festival previously took place in Las Vegas announced yesterday a significant financial settlement to bring to an end litigation relating to the mass shooting that occurred at the event in 2017.

A total of 58 people were killed during the attack at the Live Nation-promoted country music festival in October 2017. Stephen Paddock opened fire on the 22,000 strong audience during Jason Aldean’s headline set before taking his own life. MGM Resorts International owns the site where the festival took place and the nearby hotel from which Paddock committed his crime.

A number of lawsuits were filed by victims caught up in the shooting, with MGM Resorts, Live Nation and Paddock’s estate variously named as defendants. The hotel firm also filed its own litigation seeking court confirmation that it could not be held liable for Paddock’s crimes. It later also asked that the various lawsuits relating to the incident be grouped together and heard in a single court.

However, alongside the legal filings, talks continued between MGM Resorts and lawyers representing the victims. Yesterday it was confirmed that, while the hotel firm is not admitting to any liability in relation to the shooting, it is nevertheless committing to pay compensation to those affecting by the incident. And, depending on how many victims choose to participate in this settlement, payments could top $800 million.

Confirming the settlement, MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren said: “Our goal has always been to resolve these matters so our community and the victims and their families can move forward in the healing process. This agreement with the plaintiffs’ counsel is a major step, and one that we hoped for a long time would be possible. We have always believed that prolonged litigation around these matters is in no one’s best interest. It is our sincere hope that this agreement means that scenario will be avoided”.

Speaking for the plaintiffs, lawyer Robert Eglet added: “Today’s agreement marks a milestone in the recovery process for the victims of the horrifying events of [October 2017]. 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. MGM Resorts is a valued member of the Las Vegas community and this settlement represents good corporate citizenship on their part”.

Most of the monies set to be paid out under the settlement will be provided by MGM Resorts’ insurers. The firm’s statement concluded: “An independent Claims Administrator will be appointed by the court to allocate the settlement fund among the participating claimants. The settlement fund will be funded by MGM Resorts’ insurers with a minimum of $735 million. As previously reported, MGM Resorts has insurance coverage of $751 million”.