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Suing the MGM for the Vegas Massacre

Posted by Neil Shouse | Oct 05, 2017 | 0 Comments


This year's Route 91 Harvest Festival took place in Las Vegas Village, an outdoor 15-acre area owned by MGM Resorts. The suspect shot from the Mandalay Bay, which is also an MGM property. So a logical question arises…is the MGM partly liable for the victims' deaths and injuries?

In order to prevail in a negligence lawsuit in Nevada, the plaintiff (victim or victim's family) needs to prove that the defendant (MGM) breached its duty of care, and that its breach caused the defendant's injuries.

As with all property owners, MGM Resorts has a duty to take reasonable measures to keep its premises safe. Over the coming weeks and months, Nevada personal injury attorneys will be pondering the following issues:

Negligence optimized
  • Whether MGM should have been screening luggage, or at least screening the luggage of patrons with several heavy suitcases
  • Whether MGM should have dogs at its entrances that can detect explosives and gunpowder
  • Whether MGM should have had glass breakage detectors in its windows
  • Whether MGM should have had break-proof glass for its windows
  • Whether MGM should have had sound detectors in the hotel hallways to detect gunfire
  • Whether MGM should require employees to check rooms every few hours despite "do not disturb" signs
  • Whether MGM should have a better system in place for getting police to a crime scene quicker
  • Whether MGM should have a better communication system in place between hotel security and police
  • Whether MGM should have provided more than six exits in Las Vegas Village
  • Whether MGM should have provided more security at Las Vegas Village
  • Whether MGM should have had medics and ambulances on hand in case of an emergency
  • Whether MGM should have provided impenetrable safe zones, walls, or bunkers where patrons could take cover in case of an emergency

Las Vegas Village is a fishbowl half-encased by high-rise buildings from which anyone with sinister intentions unleash bullets or an explosive. In retrospect, a situation like the Vegas Massacre may have been foreseeable. And if it was foreseeable, MGM may have had a duty to prevent it.

Coincidentally, just today the Nevada Supreme Court handed down a decision that could make it easier for victims to prove a negligence claim against the MGM. Specifically:

RS 651.015 precludes [owner or innkeeper] liability unless the wrongful act that caused the injuries was foreseeable...a wrongful act is not foreseeable unless the owner or innkeeper failed to exercise due care for the safety of the patron or other person on the premises or had notice or knowledge of prior incidents of similar wrongful acts on the premises ... Foreseeability based on the failure to exercise due care does not depend solely on notice or knowledge that a specific wrongful act would occur, but instead is about "the basic minimum precautions that are reasonably expected of an owner or innkeeper." ... And foreseeability based on notice or knowledge of "[p]rior incidents of similar wrongful acts," ... requires a case-by-case analysis of similar wrongful acts, including, without limitation, the level of violence, location of attack, and security concerns implicated. (Humphries v. New York, New York, 133 Nev. Advance Opinion 77 (2017))

If you or a loved one has been injured in the Vegas Massacre, contact our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys for a free consultation.

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About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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