Owners of Mandalay Bay Sue Victims of Las Vegas Massacre in Federal Court
An attorney for the many of the victims called the move "unethical."
The corporate owners of the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas are suing victims of October’s mass shooting.
MGM Resorts International, which owns Mandalay Bay, went to federal courts in Nevada and California and took on more than 1,000 shooting victims, claiming it has no liability for the massacre, according to a published report on Monday.
The company is asking for the claims against them to be dismissed.
“Plaintiffs have no liability of any kind to defendants,” the complaints argue, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Las Vegas lawyer Robert Eglet, who is representing several victims, told the paper that the hotel’s unusual action is an effort to get the cases heard in federal court instead of state court.
He said the decision was a "blatant display of judge shopping" that "quite frankly verges on unethical."
"I’ve never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like," the lawyer continued. "It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level."
The company is not seeking money from the victims. MGM is asking that a 2002 federal act that extends liability protection to any company that uses “anti-terrorism” technology or services that can “help prevent and respond to mass violence,” be extended to them.
Their stance stems from the fact that the security vendor the company hired for the Route 91 Harvest festival was protected from liability because its services had been certified by the Department of Homeland Security for “protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction."
"The Federal Court is an appropriate venue for these cases and provides those affected with the opportunity for a timely resolution," Debra DeShong, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts, said in a statement. "Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing."
Gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from the window of a Mandalay Bay hotel room on Oct. 1, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more as the Route 91 Festival took place.
The massacre is the deadliest in modern U.S. history.
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