Victim’s of Las Vegas 2017 mass shooting to receive up to $800 million settlement
(ABC News) —A massive settlement of up to $800 million to resolve claims against MGM Resorts stemming from the October 2017 Las Vegas massacre that left 58 people dead was announced on Thursday.
Officials at MGM Resorts International, the owner of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where the mass shooting occurred, announced the settlement in a statement, saying the entire process is expected to be completed by late 2020.
“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,” Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts, said in a statement. “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.”
MGM Resorts said the total settlement amount is expected to come to between $735 million and $800 million, depending on the number of claimants who participate in the settlement.
“The scars and injuries from that night can never be erased. I’m glad we could reach a resolution that allows us to put this nightmare behind us so our family can move forward and start focusing on the future,” said Jason McMillan, a 37-year-old Riverside County sheriff’s deputy, who was shot and paralyzed in the massacre.
Robert Eglet, a lead counsel for some of the victims of the massacre and their families, said the agreement “marks a milestone in the recovery process” for the victims.
“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,” Eglet said in a statement. “MGM Resorts is a valued member of the Las Vegas community and this settlement represents good corporate citizenship on their part. We believe that the terms of this settlement represent the best outcome for our clients and will provide the greatest good for those impacted by these events.”
The two-year anniversary of the massacre, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, was Tuesday.
“While we cannot eliminate the physical and emotional scars suffered by the thousands of people impacted by this tragic event, we hope this resolution will provide some sense of closure to our clients,” said Mo Aziz of Abraham, whose law firm Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz, who represents more than 1,300 victims and survivors of the mass shooting. ” In this era of mass shootings, this settlement sends a strong message to the hospitality industry that all steps necessary to prevent mass shootings must be taken.”
Earlier this year, MGM reported to federal regulators that company estimates indicated it could end up paying as much as $800 million to settle claims from the massacre on the Las Vegas Strip.
MGM has been the target of scorching criticism for suing hundreds of victims preemptively in order to have all lawsuits stemming from the massacre consolidated into one massive case in one federal court.
The Oct. 1, 2017, massacre occurred when Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old former accountant and realtor, opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival from across the street on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Hundreds of others were injured by bullets and in the resulting panic caused by thousands fleeing the concert.
Under the settlement agreement, the victims have agreed to dismiss all pending litigation against MGM Resort, according to the company’s statement.
“The proposed settlement is not an admission of liability by MGM Resorts,” the statement reads.
An independent claims administrator is expected to be appointed by a court to allocate the settlement funds to the victims and the victims’ families, according to the statement.
MGM Resorts said the settlement fund will be funded by its insurers with a minimum of $735 million.
The Department of Justice announced last November that it was giving $16.7 million in grant money to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.
The agency said the grant will assist “victims of this incident, including ticket holders, concert staff, vendors, witnesses, law enforcement personnel, and other first responders.”
Nine Democratic presidential candidates were in Las Vegas on Wednesday for a forum on gun violence hosted by former Rep. Gabby Giffords and March for Our Lives.
Bernie Sanders, who later had to drop out of the forum due to illness, visited a memorial for the 58 shooting victims on Tuesday night.
ABC News’ Mark Osborne and Sabina Ghebremedhin contributed to this report.