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MGM sues Las Vegas shooting victims to avoid being sued back

MGM Resorts, owner of the Mandala Bay hotel from which the perpetrator of the Las Vegas massacre shot in October 2017, caused a scandal in the United States by filing a complaint against the victims of the shooting.

Stephen Paddock had entrenched himself with an arsenal in a room in Mandala Bay, before opening fire on the audience at an open-air concert. He killed 58 people and injured 800 others.

As a result of this event, some 2,500 people, including survivors of the shooting and families of victims, have sued or say they want to sue MGM Resorts for neglect.

On Friday, July 13, the hotel group responded by filing a complaint in Nevada and a federal court in Los Angeles. Relying on a federal law (the Safety Act), he claimed that he could not be held legally responsible for the attack since the organizer of the Live Nation concert had entrusted the security of the event to CSC, a company certified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The Safety Act, which was enacted after the September 11, 2001 attacks, states that the federal government is ultimately responsible if mass attacks involve organizations that have hired DHS-certified security companies. Wishing to be judged under the Safety Act, MGM Resorts stated that it was not seeking money with this procedure.

However, this has caused a scandal in the United States.

The Firearms Victim Support Association, Route 91 Strong, said it was "deeply saddened," pointing out that many traumatized victims were still "on the verge of suicide", many having lost "their jobs, their homes."

Lawyer Robert Eglet, who represents one of the victims, said it was "the most scandalous thing seen in thirty years of career," and argued that "CSC did not provide security at Mandalay Bay" during and before the shooting, and that MGM can therefore legitimately be prosecuted.

In this context, it is necessary to recall that "in matters of French properties or foreign properties subject to French law, the owner of the hotel chain is criminally liable if he did not do what was necessary at the security level," said Thibault de Montbrial, a lawyer specializing in security issues at the last Global Lodging Forum.

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