It has taken three years but victims of the Mandalay Bay massacre are finally getting some closure. Clark County District Judge Linda Bell signed off a lawsuit ordering MGM Resorts to pay US$800 million in damages.
Sixty-four-year-old Stephen Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay hotel and given a room on the 32nd floor. It was a comped room because Paddock was a high-stakes video poker player. A hotel bellman brought Paddock’s 22 suitcases to his room between September 25 and October 1, 2017.
It turned out to be the perfect room for what Paddock had planned.
Those suitcases contained an arsenal of weapons, unknown to the Mandalay Bay staff. Police recovered 21-rifles and a revolver. Twelve of the rifles had 100-round magazines. Fourteen were modified to allow for automatic firing.
Paddock placed “do not disturb” signs on his room on September 30 because of what he had planned. Hotel security headed to the 32nd floor shortly before 22:00 on October 1 to investigate an open-door alert. The security guard discovered the door that would give access to the entire floor was screwed shut.
The same security guard thought he heard rapid drilling from room 32-135. It wasn’t drilling. It was something far more sinister.
58 Deaths and 868 Injured by Mandalay Bay Shooter
The drilling the Mandalay Bay security guard heard was actually Paddock embarking on a killing spree. The third and final day of the Route 91 Harvest music festival was wrapping up on the famous Las Vegas Strip. Paddock’s room overlooked the revellers.
He began shooting at the concertgoers at approximately 22:05. Paddock fired more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition in the space of 10-minutes.
Fifty-eight people lost their lives in the massacre, 22 men and 36 women. The youngest victim was only 20-years-old, the oldest was 67. Two other women have since died as a result of their injuries, but not added to the official death toll.
A further 868 people suffered injuries, 412 of them gunshot wounds or shrapnel injuries. The other injuries occurred during attempts to escape the rain of bullets from the Mandalay Bay.
The coward shooter took his own life before police officers could bring him to justice.
Police believe Paddock acted alone. No evidence has ever been found for the motive behind the attack.
Lawsuits Filed For Damages
Attorneys filed five lawsuits claiming security at Mandalay Bay was lax. They argue security should have done more to prevent Paddock from having an arsenal in his room. They also claim staff weren’t properly trained to deal with such a situation.
MGM Resorts, owners of Mandalay Bay, deny any wrongdoing.
That may be the case but judges ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. Those judges set the total damages payout at US$800 million. MGM’s insurance covers all but $49 million of the massive award.
Robert Eglet is an attorney representing 2,000 plaintiffs. Elglet told the Associated Press, “There’ve been no objections and we expect no appeals. We’ll send out notices of the order. After 30 days, the $800 million will be deposited.”
Nobody knows how much money each of the 4,400 claimants will receive. A number of factors need considering before a definite amount is announced.
These include whether the victims lost their lives, or the severity of the injuries sustained. There will be considerations about victims left with permanent injuries too.
It also goes without saying that the attorneys will take a significant cut of the massive pot.
About The Hotel
Mandalay Bay is a 43-storey luxury resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. It has a tropical theme and 3,209-rooms available at any one time.
Built in March 1999 with an estimated budget of US$800 million to $1 billion, Mandalay Bay became an MGM property in February 2005. MGM sold 49.9% of the resort to The Blackstone Group for US$4.6 billion. The Blackstone Group bought Lawrence Ho’s Crown Resorts stock recently.