MGM agrees to massive payout to settle lawsuits from ’17 massacre
The casino giant is looking forward to putting the deadly attack behind it
Just over two years after madman Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 from the Mandalay Bay in Vegas, the owner of the casino, MGM Resorts International, has agreed to a settlement with victims and their families. The company has reached a deal to pay $800 million in compensation in order to settle a myriad of lawsuits, allowing both those affected by the events and MGM to move on.
MGM had been accused of not doing enough to prevent Paddock from taking aim at 22,000 people attending a music concert outside the casino on October 1, 2017. He was able to take a complete arsenal of weapons into his suite at the property before unloading round after round at the innocent crowd. He then took his own life.
The company had tried to get out of providing any compensation, arguing that it was exempt due to a federal law that was implemented as the result of the 9/11 terrorist attack. That refusal to acknowledge any responsibility only exacerbated the backlash against the company and caused it further public relations nightmares.
The amount is the third-highest ever awarded in a victims’ compensation fund. The largest, $7.1 billion, resulted from the 9/11 attacks, followed by $6.5 billion paid by BP for a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
The money will be provided by MGM and its insurance carriers. A court-appointed administrator will oversee the distribution, which is expected to be completed no later than the end of next year. One of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, Robert Eglet, says of the arrangement, “Today’s agreement marks a milestone in the recovery process for the victims of the horrifying events of 1 October. 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.”