Lawsuits over the Vegas Shooting
On October 1, Americans watched news stories covering the largest massacre in the history of the U.S.. Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old gunman, fired into a crowd of a music festival, intending to harm hundreds of victims. The gunman shot from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, killing 58 people, and injuring a few hundred more. The Las Vegas community came together to attempt to make sense of the tragedy, as this was a devastating experience for all. From a legal standpoint, countless questions arose: could the hotel be held liable for not noticing the gunman transporting guns up to his room? Should additional security have been at the festival venue, or around the Mandalay Bay? In order to analyze various legal standpoints for the tragedy, we discuss a college student who was injured in the festival massacre. Paige Gasper, 21, is suing MGM Resorts International, which owns multiple hotels, including Mandalay Bay where the shooting occurred.
The main argument of the plaintiff is that the hotel owners, the concert promoter, and the bump stock manufacturers were all liable for the shooting. Additionally, questions are raised against the hotel employees, as Gasper’s team claims they failed to notice the gunman’s unusual behavior over the course of his stay. The lawsuit accuses MGM of failing to respond to the shooting of security guard Jesus Campos within a “timely manner”. Jesus went to the 32nd floor where the shooting took place, to check on a guest who was shot six minutes prior to the start of the massacre. Gasper’s team claims other hotel security should have responded faster to the shooting of Jesus, with the potential to prevent further victims from becoming injured or killed.
Gasper’s legal team says that they are aiming to improve security protocol at hotels and other venues, to prevent a mass-shooting similar to this from occurring again. Gasper was shot in the right armpit, and the bullet went through her breast tissue, shattered a rib, and lacerated her liver before exiting her body. The hotel never noticed the gunman carrying weapons to his room on various occasions, and did not respond rapidly when he broke his hotel room windows to allow the shooting. Gasper’s legal team emphasizes her life before the shooting, that she was a student on the Dean’s List, working three jobs, and how her life has changed forever post-shooting.
The festival promoter, Live Nation, is also called into the lawsuit, as failing to “build and mark” adequate emergency exits, along with inadequate safety procedures for how employees should respond during an emergency. The lack of safety protocol caused everyone involved in the tragedy left in a chaotic state, with no safe place to escape. Everyone can agree this tragedy was shocking, devastating, and horrifying to all of the victims involved. Due to the complex psychological state of the gunman, and all of the countless factors involved including the hotel, the venue, the timeline that is still being developed, and all of the poor victims accounts of the events, legal lawsuits will be filed for the unforeseeable future.
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