A US court on Wednesday approved a settlement worth $800 million from the casino company MGM Resorts International and its insurers to resolve the claims of more than 4,400 victims of the Las Vegas Strip shooting, which is considered the deadliest in recent US history, AFP reported.
On October 1, 2017, a 64-year-old man named Stephen Paddock opened fire with multiple high-powered rifles from the 32nd floor of Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing 58 and injuring over 800 people gathered nearby for an outdoor country music festival.
MGM Resorts International, the owner of the resort and casino, has been ordered to pay $49 million “of its own funds”, while the rest of the amount will be settled by its insurers. However, the hospitality company has maintained that it does not acknowledge liability for the incident.
“We are grateful that the decision brings families, victims and the community closer to closure,” MGM Resorts said in a statement to AFP. “It is especially meaningful that the decision comes one day before the third anniversary of the incident, a time of great sadness and reflection.”
Victims and their relatives filed over a dozen lawsuits against the resort’s owner on grounds of negligence for allowing Paddock to enter the hotel with an arsenal of military-style firearms without being noticed.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer Attorney Robert Eglet told AP that each victim will be awarded a minimum of $5,000, depending on the extent of injuries and loss caused by the incident. Eglet said that the most severely and permanently injured sought to get millions of dollars from the settlement.
In a counter-suit filed in 2018, MGM Resorts claimed that it cannot be held liable for the massacre and urged courts to grant it federal protection from legal actions filed by the victims.
Paddock, who killed himself before the police could nab him, was not mentioned in any of the court filings, AP reported. According to the FBI, the attack was carefully planned, but the motive is still unclear.
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