85°F
weather icon Clear

MGM could pay up to $800M in Las Vegas shooting settlement

Updated May 16, 2019 - 6:34 pm

MGM Resorts International says it could possibly reach settlement between $735 million and $800 million for the litigation that arose from the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting.

In a quarterly Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company said $751 million in insurance can go toward the settlement, which the company hopes to reach by next May.

The SEC filing was required because any settlement could affect the company’s financial results.

An MGM spokeswoman said the company believes a settlement is possible.

“MGM’s stated goal regarding mediation is, as it always has been, to resolve these matters so that all impacted can move forward in their healing process,” spokeswoman Debra DeShong said in an emailed statement.

“After multiple mediation sessions over several months, progress has been made, and while mediation is ongoing, the company believes it is reasonably possible that a settlement will be reached,” she said.

But the attorney representing around 2,500 victims said it was premature to report a possible settlement.

“When I first read it, it almost implies we’re really close to a settlement, and that’s just not true,” said attorney Robert Eglet, adding that the statements were “technically accurate” but should not be construed as a guarantee.

Settlement ‘possible,’ not ‘probable’

“I wouldn’t be involved in mediation for three months if it wasn’t possible,” Eglet continued. “But it’s not probable — it’s possible. We may get a settlement, but we may not.”

Eglet, who also leads a group of attorneys representing about 1,700 additional victims, said the litigation is complicated and will take time.

In reference to the $800 million figure cited by MGM, Eglet laughed. “We’ve thrown out numbers, they’ve thrown out numbers, but there’s no agreements on anything,” he said.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensation for a range of physical and psychological harm after a shooter rained gunfire from a Mandalay Bay suite into an open-air concert crowd, killing 58 people and injuring more than 800.

There may be 4,200 claimants in the case, Eglet said.

Inadequate protection

Plaintiffs accuse MGM Resorts, which owns the high-rise hotel and the concert venue across Las Vegas Boulevard, of failing to adequately protect the 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest festival country music concert.

MGM points to Las Vegas police findings that the shooter, Stephen Paddock, spent several days amassing an arsenal of assault-style weapons and ammunition in a two-room suite at Mandalay Bay, across the Strip from the outdoor concert venue.

Paddock was a 64-year-old retired accountant and high-stakes video poker player.

Police and the FBI say he acted alone, firing out of the windows with guns equipped with rapid-fire bump stocks, then killing himself before officers reached his room. Paddock didn’t leave a note or a manifesto, and authorities closed investigations saying they couldn’t identify a motive.

MGM’s SEC filing said the company intends to extend the statute of limitations for filing a claim to May 15, 2020.

The filing also said the company “continues to believe it is not legally responsible for the perpetrator’s criminal acts,” but would seek to settle “in the interest of avoiding protracted litigation and the related impact on the community.”

Broad categories of victims

John Chatwin of Henderson-based Centurion Insurance Services said one of the steps toward reaching a settlement, generally, is to categorize claimants in groups ranging from the most severely affected victims to those less impacted.

“Someone who is quadriplegic will have more medical needs that someone who may have broken a limb,” Chatwin said. “I’m not trying to minimize the amount of trauma produced in this incident and I know there was also psychological damage and damages to spouses and other relatives.”

Chatwin expects the most severely afflicted victims would be the smallest group with numbers growing among other groups of less affected victims. He also noted that attorney fees are likely to take about half of the settlement money.

Chatwin noted that MGM angered many people last year by filing lawsuits against victims in a bid to consolidate cases in federal court, where the company could avoid liability under a law passed after the Sept. 11 attacks. MGM maintains that a security company hired for the company had a certification from the Department of Homeland Security and it believes the shooting qualified as an act of terrorism.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Rachel Crosby and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Remembering  the  victims
Business Videos
Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich Review
Janine Blake of Las Vegas gives her review of the new Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich at the restaurant’s location on west Bonanza Road on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019,
SuperZoo 2019 takes over Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
SuperZoo 2019 show for pet retailers brought pet products of all description to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MSG Sphere at The Venetian to cost $1.2B plus
Scheduled to open in 2021, it is expected to be busier than Madison Square Garden in New York. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Favorite products from SuperZoo 2019
Some of the fun and interesting pet products on display at the SuperZoo in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MAGIC Convention Day 3
The fashion trade show MAGIC, held Monday through Wednesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MAGIC Las Vegas - Day One
The biannual MAGIC convention show opened Monday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant celebrates naming deal with tailgate party
Allegiant Air employees celebrate with a tailgate party after the company’s naming deal with the Raiders for the new Las Vegas stadium.
Nevada's sportsbook operators welcome competition
Sportsbook operators from near and far are looking to get into in the established Nevada market, experts say. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a first look of MSG Sphere construction in Las Vegas
Representatives of The Madison Square Garden Company give the first glimpse of progress Tuesday of the under-construction MSG Sphere — a first-of-its-kind performance venue with high-tech audio and visual capabilities.
There's a new place to play board games in Las Vegas
Matt Smiciklas, co-owner of Boarding School Games, talks about the new Las Vegas business that he co-owns with Emily Labejof. Dedicated tabletop gamers can choose from more than 500 games to play for free in-store. The doors open to the public Saturday, July 20, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Renovations at the STRAT
Analysts say the $140 million renovation project at The STRAT, formerly the known as the Stratosphere, could help the hotel-casino compete with the evolving north side of the Las Vegas Strip. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
SLS Las Vegas will become Sahara Las Vegas
Owner Alex Meruelo announced during a special event at the SLS Las Vegas that the hotel-casino will become Sahara Las Vegas in its next iteration. Meruelo said $150 million dollars will be spent to renovate the current property. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Aircraft hinge maker moves to "business friendly" Nevada
Doug Silva, president of Aircraft Hinge, Inc. in Las Vegas, makes every type of hinge for every type of airplane. Silva talks about his company and why he moved it to Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Daytime fireworks mark the opening of Encore Boston Harbor
The opening of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass. included a three-minute fireworks show launched by Fireworks by Grucci Sunday, June 23, 2019. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @RickVelotta
Elaine Wynn talks about the opening of Encore Boston Harbor
Elaine Wynn, co-founder and largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts, talked during opening festivities of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass. Sunday, June 23, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
People line hours ahead of opening for Encore Boston Harbor
Guests arrive as much as 17 hours early for the 10 a.m. opening of the $2.6 billion, 671-room resort in Everett, Mass. Sunday, June 23, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @reviewjournal.com
Allegiant Discusses Investments In Golf Course Software And Game Rooms - Video
Allegiant Discusses Investments In Golf Course Software And Game Rooms.
Crews working 24/7 to complete Circa downtown - VIDEO
Owner Derek Stevens goal is to open the doors to the 1.25 million-square-foot project by December 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Marc-Andre Fleury sells Las Vegas home - VIDEO
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has sold his custom home Southern Highlands home in Las Vegas for $2.3 million.
Las Vegas Strip resorts slow to welcome Alexa, Google Home Hub
Alexa, where are you? Smart home and hospitality technology was big at CES in early January. Amazon and Google promoted their voice-activated speakers Alexa and Google Home Hub. Hospitality executives have called the speakers the industry’s future. Yet for all the hype, the revolution is unfolding at a cautious pace on the Strip as well as in other major U.S. hospitality markets. Hotels are focusing their consumer-facing technology investments on adding streaming capabilities, like Netflix, and enhancing their mobile apps, a December report by Hospitality Technology showed. Voice-enabled technology is 10th on that priority list.
What is MGM 2020
MGM Resorts International announced its MGM 2020 plan in January, The plan would improve cash flow by $200 million annually by the end of 2020 and an additional $100 million by the end of 2021. 1,070 jobs were cut as part of the cost-cutting initiative. 881 of those were Las Vegas employees, mostly in management or mid-management positions. Jim Murren
What is MGM 2020
MGM Resorts International announced its MGM 2020 plan in January, The plan would improve cash flow by $200 million annually by the end of 2020 and an additional $100 million by the end of 2021. 1,070 jobs were cut as part of the cost-cutting initiative. 881 of those were Las Vegas employees, mostly in management or mid-management positions. Jim Murren
Find next-level experience
One minute, you’re just trimming hedges and shooting the breeze with your neighbor. But then he brings up Vegas and you’re thinking about the incredible meals, world-class hotels, pools inside of pools and unparalleled entertainment. You’re thinking about iconic artist residencies like Aerosmith. Priorities take shape. Vegas first, lawn and everything else, second. Just like that, Vegas Changes Everything. (Visti Las Vegas/Youtube)
Vegas Changes Everything
A weekend getaway is nice for anyone, but a weekend getaway in Vegas ... that’s a next-level experience with shows, clubs, spas and more. With a chance to see iconic artist residencies like Gwen Stefani, you might just find yourself going from pushing your child on a swing, to pushing back a birthday party. See how Vegas Changes Everything. (Visit Las Vegas/YouTube)
THE LATEST