As many of you may know, I have many legal talk shows throughout the panhandle. Even though I am a personal injury lawyer, I discuss various topics that are relevant to current events. In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, I have been approached by two or three different people who have asked me what type of liability Mandalay Bay would have or the concert itself for the carnage caused by the shooter, Mr. Paddock.
Of course, I don’t know everything at this point in time. Presuming that he was a lone wolf and checked into this hotel as most guests would without any fanfare, I presently fail to see any liability whatsoever. I have been to Las Vegas many times and to say that there is a lot of hustle and bustle is an understatement. There are always conventions going on and of course, that weekend, the concert itself brought a lot of people. This gentleman had no prior record that we know of, was 64 years of age and outwardly lived quite normal. How can the hotel know what he was doing inside his hotel room. The concert as I understand it, had security and even had people inspecting attendees bags and so forth as they entered the outdoor arena. How could Mandalay Bay or the promoters of this concert have foreseen that some deranged shooter would set up a sniper’s nest on the 32nd floor of a hotel with a tripod and automatic weapons to randomly shoot down hundreds of people with no known motive.
This is a most unfortunate situation, but at this point in time, it appears that the sole criminal and civil defendant would be Mr. Paddock, who is no longer with us, since he apparently may have committed suicide. There have been rumors that there may have been other individuals involved, but unless a lawyer can prove that Mandalay Bay or the promoters of the concert knew or should have known of this danger, there would be no liability. The same would be true had Mr. Paddock taken his car and driven it through the audience.
In closing, all liability suits are premised on negligence, which is also based on foreseeability. It appears that the promoters of the concert took reasonable safety precautions by inspecting peoples’ bags and belongings as they entered the arena as we see at most events in this day and age. I do wish the victims’ families well, but see no form of compensation coming from either Mandalay Bay or the concert promoters themselves.
TERENCE A. GROSS