MGM Resorts International, the parent company of Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and the Route 91 Harvest Festival grounds, has filed federal lawsuits against more than 1,000 victims of the Oct. 1 shooting at the country music festival. The lawsuits argue that the company cannot be held liable for deaths, injuries or other damages that resulted from the tragedy.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that MGM Resorts International filed its suits in Nevada and California on Friday (July 13). The lawsuits state that all claims made against Mandalay Bay, the Route 91 venue or its other holdings "must be dismissed," citing a 2002 federal act that offers liability protection to companies that use technology and/or services meant to combat terrorism and other types of "mass violence." For the Route 91 Harvest Festival, MGM Resorts International hired Contemporary Services Corp., the services of which have been certified by the Department of Homeland Security, putting them under the protection umbrella of that act; MGM Resorts International's lawsuits argue that, since they hired the security company, they, too, are protected by the act.

“Plaintiffs have no liability of any kind to defendants,” state the lawsuits.

MGM Resorts International's goal in filing the lawsuits is to have a judge determine whether or not the aforementioned 2002 federal act is applicable in this situation. The act was passed, the Review-Journal reports, a little over one year after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“The Federal Court is an appropriate venue for these cases and provides those affected with the opportunity for a timely resolution," says Debra DeShong, a spokesperson for MGM Resorts International. "Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing.”

Fifty-eight people died and hundreds more were injured when a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel onto the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival, during Jason Aldean's festival-closing set. Officials are still trying to determine a motive; the gunman's autopsy revealed no clues.

Victims have filed lawsuits against Mandalay Bay, festival promoter LiveNation and bump stock manufacturers in the months since the tragedy. Robert Eglet, an attorney who is representing a number of Route 91 victims, calls MGM Resorts International's lawsuits a "blatant display of judge shopping” that “quite frankly verges on unethical.”

“I’ve never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like,” Eglet says, claiming that the lawsuits belong in state, not federal, court. “It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level.”

Remembering the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting Victims

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