The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, as well as its parent company, MGM Resorts, has been inundated with lawsuits filed by the victims of the shooting that occurred there in October. One lawsuit was filed on behalf of 450 people, and many of these suits are seeking to hold MGM legally liable for the shooting, in which 58 people were killed and hundreds were injured.
These lawsuits claim that MGM and Mandalay Bay failed to acknowledge red flags regarding shooter Stephen Paddock, as well as a failure to take proper preventative security measures that may have prevented the attack from taking place. Plaintiffs are also arguing that the hotel’s staff members should have been better trained to detect Paddock's suspicious activity.
During the three-day period after Paddock checked into his room at Mandalay Bay, he delivered at least 10 suitcases to his guestroom, many of which were packed with firearms. According to police reports, Paddock was also able to construct a surveillance system in the hotel during his stay, including placing two hidden cameras in the hallway outside his suite and one additional camera in his guestroom door’s peephole. The lawsuits allege the hotel should have noticed Paddock’s activities and raised the alarm.
In addition to MGM and Mandalay Bay, the victims are also suing Paddock’s estate, as well as concert organizer Live Nation Entertainment and the manufacturer of bump stocks — attachements that allowed Paddock to fire as if he was using fully automatic weapons.
Should MGM be concerned? It’s difficult to call, but in October of this year the Nevada Supreme Court found the company liable for a 2010 assault on a California couple at one of the company’s properties. In its ruling, the court referred to the attack as “foreseeable” due to similar cases of violence at the property over the years. It remains to be seen if the shooting in Las Vegas will also qualify as “foreseeable,” but the Mandalay Bay lawsuits will force the state’s courts to make a decision.
The rest of the hotel industry should pay attention to the outcome of this case as well, because it may set a precedent regarding security in large hotels. Currently, hotels are not held accountable for guests’ behavior, and the industry has no nationally mandated standards for safety or security. If MGM is found liable for the shooting, this could all change, and it won’t stop at MGM.