14 Lawsuits Filed On Behalf Of Route 91 Shooting Victims

Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of 14 attendees of the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas where a gunman opened fire on thousands and killed 58, naming as defendants the hotel, concert organizer Live Nation and makers of a bump stock gun accessory.  

Route 91 Site
John Locher/AP
– Route 91 Site
The Brown United-built stage, along with its two spot towers in the foreground, from the Route 91 Harvest festival remain unstruck two days after 59 music fans were killed and more than 500 injured in a mass shooting Oct. 1, as the police investigation continues in Las Vegas.

The 14 civil complaints, filed together in Las Vegas state court Nov. 15, follow at least three others filed since Stephen Paddock opened fire Oct. 1 from his hotel at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino during Jason Aldean’s set at the country festival. The suit seeks unspecific compensation for both physical and mental injuries.

The shooting will also have ramifications for the insurance business, with sources telling The Claims Journal that the industry overall may have to shell out more than $1 billion related to the Vegas massacre. Also affected will be man-made disaster costs for insurers, hotel and event planner liability and festival refunds.

The suit says the Las Vegas Village concert grounds on the Strip had poorly marked exits and that the hotel should have had gunfire-location devices to pinpoint the source of gunfire.

The suits say Paddock was able to use VIP status conferred on him as a high-stakes gambler to stockpile more than 20 rifles in his hotel suite, including by using exclusive access to a service elevator over days. The filings argue that a routine check of Paddock’s bags and his room would have revealed his growing arsenal.

A Nov. 15 statement from MGM Resorts International, the parent company of Mandalay Bay, called the shooting “a meticulously planned, evil … act,” adding it would respond to any allegations only through “the appropriate legal channels.” Live Nation does not comment on pending litigation but said it remains heartbroken for the victims.

It’s all but certain the lawsuits will multiply and drag on for years, similar to the tragic nightclub fire at The Station in West Warwick, R.I., where 100 people died in 2003.

Richard Hudak, managing partner at Resorts Security consulting firm, previously told Pollstar that security is tricky in the hospitality business, where guests value privacy.  Also, in the hotel security world, “There are no real hospitality industry standards,” Hudak said.

Chris Robinette, president of security and counter-terrorism specialists Prevent Advisors (which is owned by the Oak View Group, Pollstar’s parent company) previously told Pollstar that, considering the circumstances, the festival handled things well: “They had a plan for crowd control and were able to move people out and have an evacuation. That is critical in these events to prevent even further damage and destruction.”

MGM said in a conference call that it expects its insurance to cover any judgments that may be found against the company following the lawsuits.