July 18–Survivors of the worst mass shooting in modern American history feel they are again in the line of fire.
MGM Resorts International took aim at more than 1,000 victims in a pair of lawsuits filed this month in its bid to avoid all liability for the deadly Las Vegas Massacre last October.
“It feels like bullets are flying at my head right now,” survivor Lisa Fine told CBS News after learning of the filing.
Nine months ago, Fine was enjoying the third night of the Route 91 Harvest Festival from the VIP section when she experienced the “scariest thing that’s ever happened in my entire life.” She managed to take cover under nearby bleachers with fellow concert-goers when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the MGM-owned Mandalay Bay Casino-Hotel.
In Facebook post in wake of the shooting, Fine shared a photo of her kneecaps, bloody and bruised. “I’m one of the lucky ones,” she said at the time. “People were getting killed right in front of us. We saw a truck go by with so many bodies as we escaped.”
Fifty-seven people were killed in the Oct. 1 attack and more than 850 were injured.
Fine, a co-founder of the survivor group 91 Strong, said that while her physical injuries are long healed, she is still working to recover psychologically. And MGM’s latest legal move has proven no help in that effort, she said, adding that it also makes her feel physically ill.
“This has actually triggered PTSD for a lot of the victims,” attorney Brian Claypool told CBS. He represents more than 75 survivors and was also attending the country music festival when the attack unfolded.
MGM’s lawsuits, field in Nevada, California, New York and other states, said it has “no liability of any kind” to the survivors or loved ones of slain victims under a federal law enacted after the Sept. 11 terror attack. The Safety Act limits liabilities for a company when they rely on services certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a mass attack occurs.
The concert security vendor, Contemporary Services Corp, had been federally certified at the time of the shooting, MGM asserted. But Claypool told CBS he does not believe the company has a case under the legislation.
“They are only immunized from liability if there is an act of terrorism,” he said.
This article provided by NewsEdge.