The first lawsuit has been filed against MGM by a victim of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting on Oct. 1, accusing multiple parties to be at fault, ABC Action News reports.
Paige Gasper, a 21-year-old college student from Wheatland, California, submitted a complaint in Clark County District Court against MGM Resorts and its hotel Mandalay Bay, Live Nation Entertainment, gunman Stephen Paddock’s estate and a bump stock manufacturer.
She alleges that MGM Resorts failed to properly watch visitors coming and going from the hotel during the festival, and that they didn’t respond quickly enough after a security guard was shot minutes before the mass shooting began.
She also notes that Mandalay Bay staff and security didn’t notice the slew of weapons Paddock carried and stored in his hotel suite and didn’t act when he broke his hotel window.
Gasper was in the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay. She was struck in the chest by gunfire; the bullet shattered her ribs and lacerated her liver.
She alleges that, while incapacitated, she was trampled by concertgoers before someone put her in the back of a truck and drove her to a hospital.
"At all relevant times, Defendants MGM, and/or Mandalay Corp ... knew or should have known that it was reasonably foreseeable that a breach of their duties to keep their premises reasonably safe in the aforementioned manner might result in catastrophic injury perpetrated by a gun-toting guest with an extreme intention to harm others," the complaint reads, Business Insider reports.
The lawsuit outlines that Gasper is seeking an excess of $15,000 in damages, and it likely won’t be the last filed against the hospitality joint.
As for her claims against MGM and Mandalay Bay, the lawsuit’s merit would depend on authorities’ findings as they piece together an accurate timeline of events on the night of the attack.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo revealed Monday that police believe Paddock shot hotel guard Jesus Campos six minutes before the major shooting began. Last week, they believed he was shot after the mass gunfire was unloaded on the crowd below.
MGM’s concern with this updated timeline isn’t that the security guard was shot earlier than first reported, but “that the agent of the hotel who should have been carrying with him a recording device — a device which would have allowed the head of security or somebody in security to listen in — was shot at 200 times by an automatic weapon,” Fox News’ senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said, the outlet reports.
If Mandalay Bay knew about the gunman and his weapons six minutes before firing down on a crowd of 22,000, this information could be used by lawyers as evidence of negligence.
“That [knowledge of Paddock and his weapons] should have triggered an enormous response,” Napolitano says lawyers could argue.