- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 12, 2017

A college student wounded during last week’s massacre in Las Vegas has filed the first of likely several lawsuits against MGM Resorts, the owner of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino from where a gunman committed the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Attorneys for Paige Gasper, 21, sued MGM Resorts and a host of other defendants in a 19-page lawsuit filed Tuesday in Clark County District Court, nine days after Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old retired accountant, opened fire on Oct. 1 from his room on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay into a crowd of concertgoers attending the nearby Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing 58 people and injuring nearly 500 others.

Ms. Gasper was shot in the right arm by one of Paddock’s bullets and “rendered physically incapacitated,” causing her to be trampled by fellow concertgoers fleeing the MGM-owned Las Vegas Village concert venue before ultimately being rescue by a Good Samaritan and transported to a local hospital, according to the lawsuit.

While her lawsuit isn’t the first one filed, it’s reportedly the first to name MGM Resorts and concert promoter Live Nation as defendants. Both “breached their duty of reasonable care” and “knew or should have known that it was reasonably foreseeable that a breach of their duties to keep their Las Vegas Village concert venue reasonably safe in the aforementioned manner might result in catastrophic injury to concertgoers,” according to the lawsuit.

“Out of respect for the victims we are not going to try this case in the public domain and we will give our response through the appropriate legal channels,” MGM spokeswoman Debra DeShong said in a statement.

Paddock brought an arsenal of firearms, including several guns equipped with “bump-stock” devices designed to enable rapid-fire shooting, into his room at Mandalay Bay prior to the 11-minute massacre, according to police. Authorities discovered his body upon breaching his hotel suite about an hour later, authorities said previously.

The tragedy prompted a class-action lawsuit last week against Slide Fire, a Texas-based company that manufactured Paddock’s bump-stock devices, but Ms. Gasper’s claim is reportedly the first to name MGM and Live Nation as defendants.

Mandalay Bay had the opportunity to make this safe and didn’t do so,” said Chad Pinkerton, a Houston-based attorney representing Ms. Gasper. “This man brought in 10 suitcases of weapons and over 500 rounds. He built a fortress and barricaded himself in his room and went unnoticed,” Mr. Pinkerton said Wednesday, The Houston Chronicle reported.

Live Nation is similarly culpable because it failed to provide attendees with an accessible emergency exit, Mr. Pinkerton added. A spokesperson for the concert promoter declined to comment on the lawsuit when reached by The New York Times, the newspaper reported Wednesday.

Ms. Gasper’s lawsuit also lists Slide Fire, Paddock’s estate and hundreds of unnamed security officers, event planners and other hotel and festival employees as defendants accused of wrongdoing with respect to the Oct. 1 massacre. She’s seeking $15,000 in damages.

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