Whom would you sue? (Las Vegas shooting victims)

Suppose you or a loved one were a victim of the Las Vegas shootings in October. Once the shock and grief have subsided, you naturally think of who was to blame, and then you possibly think of suing.

Hundreds of the actual victims and their loved ones are suing three entities: the owner of the Mandalay Bay Hotel (which happens to be MGM); the organizer of the concert/festival (Live Nation) and the estate of the shooter.

The last one makes sense to me on ethical and legal grounds, and they might at least expect to get something out of that estate, which apparently runs to around $5 million. Not enough to satisfy, apparently.

But the first two make much less sense to me. Live Nation is being sued for being insufficiently prepared for a “foreseeable event, such as a terrorist attack…”. And the hotel is being sued, among other things, for allowing the shooter to use a freight elevator which allowed him to stockpile weapons.

Regarding the hotel, does anyone really think he couldn’t have smuggled guns up into his room in a golf bag or other luggage? We are now hearing that he actually built those guns himself, rather than buying them, so I reckon he could have disassembled them enough to fit them into suitcases. The suits also allege that the hotel should have had shot detectors in every room. Does that seem a reasonable requirement to you for a modern resort hotel?

The suit against Live Nation seem at least somewhat more reasonable to me, charging that they failed to provide enough exits and enough trained employees to allow people to escape in case of an emergency (such as, but not limited to, a terrorist attack). I suppose if there were not enough exits etc. to escape in case of a fire, a much more likely event, that would be a reasonable thing to sue about.

To respond to my own headline, in addition to the shooter’s estate, I would sue the shooter’s home town government, since apparently they had at least 20 calls and complaints from neighbors about him shooting guns around his home, enough to show that he was clearly out of control, but they did not take him for a psychiatric evaluation or remove the guns that he was constantly firing illegally or take any steps, apparently, to defuse the danger that he posed to others. If any one group (or person, if there was one who was responsible for these decisions) is responsible it is law enforcement of that town and their failure to take any action even based on constant and public provocation. So far I have not seen anything that shows that they or anyone else in the town cares about this lack.

Law enforcement has limited immunity for things like “failing to arrest someone.” You can imagine the flood of litigation that would happen if that were not the case.

ETA: The allegations against the hotel are broader than the freight elevator issue.

Sorry, wrong shooter. The “ghost guns” shooter was last week’s California rampage shooter. I don’t think this changes the argument about the Las Vegas hotel materially, however.

How on earth were the concert organizers supposed to prevent someone from sniping at concert-goers from a hotel far away?

Right. Maybe not sue the town for money, but what they failed to do was clearly a very bad decision and I would hope that whoever is responsible for that policy or individual decisiion is held personally accountable in some way, if only for future public safety and as an example to other municipalities and bureaucrats.

Regarding the hotel guard, he was apparently shot one minute after the shooting started, leaving 9 minutes more of shooting before the police managed to get into the room and stop him. Expecting better performance by hotel staff than what happened strikes me as far less reasonable than expecting a town to protect its citizens from obvious and blatant threats.

Ain’t that America?

Blaming the hotel or the concert organizers is completely ridiculous. “Oooo, let’s try to gain monitarily from this tragedy.”

Fuck that.

Is it possible to sue the Founding Fathers for the 2nd amendment?

The concert organizers should be off the hook provided they followed the local codes for such events and what is considered standard practices in the industry. If they cut corners by providing fewer exits than planned, for example, then they may have some culpability.

I don’t know about the hotel. I assume there is some case law that addresses this, but I have no idea what it is.

I have no idea, but theoretically, it could be negligent to hold a concert at a venue where security can’t be controlled.

The concert organizer’s culpability will be determined by examining whether they acted “reasonably” in organizing the event. That usually involves looking at what the “industry standards” for such activities are, and whether or not they met those standards. In many lawsuits there is an allegation that the defendant’s conduct was far inferior to what everyone else in the industry agrees needs to be done. I don’t know anything about this industry (or the planning and operation of this particular event), but I can imagine facts that would support liability. Absent a breach of common standards or other negligent conduct, the case against the organizers will probably be dismissed on summary judgment. I would hope the attorneys drafting the lawsuit have consulted experts in that field and have a theory of liability that makes sense.

How about suing the manufacturers of the bump stocks? Or the manufacturers of the firearms used?

It may be “completely ridiculous” or it may make a lot of sense. Depends what they did wrong, if anything.

QFT. Yea, freakin’ Americans.

Donald Trump. He had the most executive power to prevent it, the most privileged access to the risk, and the deepest pockets. Above all else, his only job is to protect us from harm.

Virtually every event held in open air (i.e., Burning Man, an outdoors World Cup watching party, etc.) is vulnerable to attack from numerous angles or methods.

And it’s not going to be long before someone weaponizes a drone to make it a miniature AC-130 to snipe or bomb people from high, high up.

Just by way of information, whether the guns were made at home or purchased, they can be disassembled to the same level. I had seen some speculation on another site that the guns might be home-made, but no confirmation. Even if true, home-made AR-15’s are no easier to smuggle into a hotel than store-bought ones (and not really functionally-different in any other meaningful way either). And yes, I have no doubt that I could smuggle dozens of weapons into just about any hotel room in the country, without the use of a special freight elevator, and with pretty minimal ‘smuggling’ effort on my part.

Sue the courts for not letting you sue enough people … the good news is that the insurance companies will spread the “blame” over all the luxury hotels in the area and raise rates, so you shareholders have nothing to worry about …

Who was the act? … sue them for attracting too many victims …

weaponizing the drone has already been done, although I don’t think any terrorist has used them to snipe or bomb people yet. Like you said, it’s only a matter of time.

PLCAA says “no” (TBH, I’m not certain it applies to accessories like the SlideFire stocks).

IANAL, but I’m pretty sure any attempt to sue the shooter’s home town for failing to _____ would fail. There’s a whole set of caselaw devoted to the topic of ‘the government doesn’t have a duty to protect you individually’. If they put you on hold when you call ‘911’, fail to catch a criminal, accidentally release a rapist, fail to put the fire out at your house, or the like, I don’t believe you can sue them for it.

Well, if you fail to provide health coverage to your citizens (like every other civilized nation on Earth does) so that being wounded in something like this incurs cost even the upper middle class would be hard put to cover, even with what is laughably called “insurance” these days, what do you expect to happen?

A lawsuit may be the only way for some of the wounded to be able to afford their needed medical care and/or pay bills while recovering. Because spaghetti dinners and GoFundMe isn’t going to cover multi-million medical costs, which is what some of the survivors are going to incur.

If health care costs weren’t so financially back-breaking people would have less incentive to sue.

Generally true, but we had an interesting case in Washington State a few years ago where a 911 operator essentially told the victim, “hold on, help is on the way” but then didn’t tell the cop it was an emergency. By the time the cop arrived, the guy had been shot.
The state Supreme Court allowed the lawsuit to go forward.