Vegas shooting echoes in court


It’s been a year since the mass shooting in Las Vegas claimed 58 lives and, during some point in almost every working week since then, details of the tragedy have been discussed in court.

The Valencia law firm Owen, Patterson & Owen, LLP, representing the family members of shooting victims, has been pursuing a civil suit filed within just days of the shooting against MGM Resorts International, Mandalay Bay, LLC, and related companies.

The firm filed its first lawsuit in probate court aimed at freezing the assets of the responsible parties, focusing its initial attention on the security practices of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Rick Patterson, founding partner of the firm, said, “Our focus is on the security practices of the Mandalay Bay hotel and the negligence of its parent company MGM. We are also looking at the exits of the event venue. Our commitment to our clients is to obtain just compensation for their losses and to effectuate changes to their security practices.”

“Baggage screening practices were implemented within 24 hours of the incident at the Mandalay Bay hotel.

“Further investigation has revealed the hotel allegedly was aware of suspicious activity surrounding the killer. Many are questioning how someone was able to check into a hotel for just a few days, with baggage pieces loaded with assault rifles. The Shooter also placed a Do Not Disturb sign on his door the entire stay, that should have raised suspicions.”

Daily pursuit

Pursuing subsequent lawsuits in relation to the shooting has proven to be a daily pursuit for the local lawyers.

On Thursday, Patterson was in San Francisco for the argument against motions brought by the MGM Attorneys in their effort to have the cases tried in federal court.

He and their team of plaintiffs’ lawyers are in the process of trying to have the case heard in Nevada.

The defendants, according to Patterson, are trying to move the civil actions to one district court in California on the basis of having it addressed in the context of the Safety Act.

The act is actually called the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002.

Under the act, punitive damages cannot be recovered if it was accepted that the shooting was an act of terrorism.

The case is ongoing.

Historic numbers

Court papers presented this past summer by Owen, Patterson & Owen reveal 634 plaintiffs have sued MGM as of July 2018. One court document reads: “In total, 2,530 individuals have sued MGM or suggested they may sue.”

“Discovery in each of these actions promises to be a mammoth undertaking,” one court brief shows.

At least 58 people were killed and 851 injured on the night of Oct. 1, 2017, when Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of concert patrons at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.

Paddock, 64, was found dead later that same night in his room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His motive remains unknown.

The shooting ranks as the deadliest mass shooting committed at the hands of one person in the U.S.

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