Blaming MGM (Mandalay Bay) for the Las Vegas Shooting is Absurd
My Thoughts on Victims and Survivors Suing Mandalay Bay:
This lawsuit is absurd. It has no merit whatsoever. Hopefully, the legal case never reaches trial. Hopefully, MGM and Live Nation refuse to settle out of court. They did nothing wrong, and finding them guilty of any negligence sends the wrong message. It also makes everyone’s lives more difficult and more expensive because, in the end, it’s we who end up paying the price. We suffer the fallout.
It seems that everyone in America can sue anyone for any reason for any amount, no matter how frivolous the claim.
Consider the flurry of odious lawsuits that were filed today by an attorney representing victims and survivors of the horrific mass shooting which took place at an outdoor country music concert in Las Vegas on October 1st.
Reportedly, 450 plaintiffs filed a class-action lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court this afternoon, claiming gross negligence by MGM and Live Nation. MGM owns the Mandalay Bay casino, where the shooter set up his base of terror that led to the deaths of 58 innocent people and seriously wounded hundreds more (heretofore in this article, Mandalay Bay will be referred to simply as “MGM”). Live Nation is the event-planning company which organized and ran the music festival. The estate of the dead shooter was also named as a co-defendant.
Before launching into my expected tirade, first a disclaimer or two. Certainly, the victims and survivors of the tragedy should be seeking answers. They are entitled to some measure of compensation, assuming others are guilty aside from the mass murderer who repeatedly pulled the trigger. One can also understand such shocking and senseless loss might cause some people to think irrationally and even behave hysterically. Those who suffered the most want someone to blame. This is especially true in such a strange case where motivation still remains a mystery.
It’s easy to look at the big bad evil corporate empire that is MGM, get all bug-eyed, and go where the money is. Accordingly, the casino becomes a convenient target with a bullseye in the shape of a dollar sign. A personal note: In the past, I’ve had my run-ins with MGM and there’s still no love lost between us (here’s an instance where the MGM stole $5,000 from me: READ STORY HERE). But that doesn’t mean MGM is negligent in this case, nor any other — nor do they deserve to be singled out as a guilty party because they collectively represent everything that’s gone wrong with Las Vegas, and their property just so happened to be the structure from where bullets were fired. A determined shooter such as the maniac who inexplicably pulled off this terrible crime could have set up camp anywhere.
So, while survivors are entitled to legal recourse (no one denies they have a right to file a lawsuit) and corporations aren’t typically innocent in complex cases where many people have suffered an unfathomable loss (I’m no certainly champion of corporations), singling out MGM for negligence makes absolutely no sense at all.
Attorneys are going for a quick money grab. They know MGM will not want to fight this battle in court, let alone the court of public opinion. No one wants to see this thing drag out. Weeping widows make for sympathetic plaintiffs, particularly when up against smarmy casino lawyers dressed in $1,800 suits trying to defend temples of vice which are essentially giant shakedown pits stoked with gambling and booze, even going so far as to enable and empower someone like the mass murder by treating him like a king. The unscrupulous don’t elicit much empathy — either from the public or a jury.
Nonetheless, claiming the MGM property was negligent here is utterly absurd. If found guilty, by such a standard, every high-rise hotel with a clear view of The Strip where mass gatherings are a common occurrence is also a potential eagle’s nest of terror. Any glass window in town can be hammered out (which is easy), and the bullets can rain down. There’s next to nothing anyone can do about it.
Oh sure. Everyone screams about closing the barn door long after the cows have gone out to pasture. We’ve heard the crying calls of lunacy for searching every hotel guest’s bags. Installing metal detectors at all the hotels has been proposed. This all makes about as much sense as asking 45,000,000 fliers a year to remove their shoes before boarding a plane — all because of one isolated incident (remember that worthless overreaction?). Please. Stop.
Yes indeed, there are ways to dissuade people like the Las Vegas mass shooter. We could make it impossible, even. We could search all the bags. We could install metal detectors. We could position security at every entrance and exit point. We could have cameras on every hotel floor, even inside every room. But who wants to live life like that? Sure, there are places where security is so intense, so perfect, that there’s never a mass shooting. It’s called North Korea.
Let’s get real, shall we? Here’s just one outrageous claim noted in the civil lawsuit. Plaintiffs insist the MGM should have installed “gunshot detection devices in hotel rooms.” Gunshot detection devices? In hotel rooms? Is this really something that’s reasonable? Gunshot detection devices in hotel rooms? Even Motel 6? Okay, maybe Motel 6. But not the estimated 70,000 hotel rooms on The Strip. Seriously. Can you imagine? How much would that add to the cost of a room with superfluous daily “resort fees” already $38 a pop?
Sorry, but I can’t get over this: “Gunshot detection devices.” Some idiot lawyer actually wrote that and inserted the phrase into the lawsuit. I can’t even…..enough already.
Suing Live Nation, the concert organizer makes even less sense. In fact, it’s preposterous. The lawsuit alleges that there were not enough exits at the outdoor concert festival. Oh, please. The company also gets blamed for providing “inadequate training” to its security personnel. I’m not sure what exactly the concert security staff were expected to do with thousands of rounds of live ammunition raining down from the dark sky. A battalion of fully-armed and trained United States Marines would have had a difficult time stopping the carnage.
Think about it. Thousands of people were gathered at an outdoor venue. Music concerts like this happen all the time. Some events take place at venues which were constructed many years ago, long before terrorism was a serious concern. Many outdoor concerts aren’t particularly well-organized, and no one cares. That’s part of the whole experience. Hey — no one who went to Woodstock bitched about the crowds and lack of parking.
Live Nation is blamed for not having enough exits, as though people running in the streets outside the concert venue were any safer than those presumably stuck inside. Fact: They weren’t. Sprays of bullets landed everywhere. It wouldn’t have mattered if the venue had twice the number of exits. The bullets didn’t discriminate based on who made it to the exits. What a foolish claim.
As for security, what exactly was the concert company supposed to do — arm the patrols with bazookas? Tanks? If so, what would that have accomplished? Plenty of Las Vegas Metro Police Officers were on the premises and patrolled surrounding area. Despite all their training and expertise, they couldn’t stop the shooting. So, how exactly do you “train” a $12-an-hour temp security detail to handle what amounted to an unprecedented, totally unforeseen ambush? Train them to do what? Escort the screaming and terrified concert attendees to the exits?
If the concert company is found guilty, it’s conceivable that no other outdoor music festivals can be held in the future. The insurance premiums would be too high. Moreover, between all the searches and security, we might as well turn our society into a police state. This litigious charade must be exposed for the shakedown that it is.
So, if the casino and the concert organizers aren’t guilty, then — who is?
Easy answer: A deranged madman. Confiscate whatever is left of his property and divide it equally among the victims. Then, never mention his name again. Let Charles Manson fuck him in hell.
It won’t happen, of course, but I sure wish the primary defendants would countersue the plaintiffs, at least for their legal fees. This lawsuit is absurd. It has no merit whatsoever. Hopefully, the case never reaches trial. Hopefully, MGM and Live Nation refuse to settle out of court.
They did nothing wrong, and finding them guilty of any negligence sends the wrong message. It also makes everyone’s lives more difficult and more expensive because in the end, it’s we who end up paying the price for the crimes of the criminal.