By January next year, a total of $800 million as payment for damages shall be issued to victims and relatives in the 2017 mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip.
The payouts from MGM Resorts International and its insurers will be distributed to more than 4,400 relatives and victims involved in the fateful night of October 1, 2017, considered as the deadliest mass shooting incident in modern US history.
In one of the rooms of the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay hotel-casino in 2017, a gunman intentionally fired at people, successfully killing 59 and wounded more than 850 others who attended the nearby Route 91 Harvest outdoor music concert.
Jason Aldean, a country music singer, was performing the closing song when the shooting began. Deadly gunfire rained down from the hotel casino onto the concert site.
Robert Eglet, the lawyer handling the settlement of several lawsuits, submitted documents recently requesting a Nevada court to approve negotiations in the case. The plaintiffs are from almost every US state. Others are also from Iran, Ireland, Canada and the United Kingdom, according to the Associated Press.
The Associated Press reported that in a statement by MGM Resorts, the court filings are "the next steps in the settlement process, thereby bringing all parties closer to closure so the community can continue to heal."
Stephen Paddock, Lone Gunman
The sole gunman in the 2017 mass shooting was identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, a retired accountant and high-stakes gambler who lived in Mesquite, Nevada.
According to Los Angeles Times, he grew up in Arizona and he was the son of bank robber Benjamin Hoskins Paddock. The elder Paddock went by the aliases "Big Daddy" and "Chromedome".
The FBI speculated that the Las Vegas gunman acted alone and wanted ‘some sort of infamy' and that he was ‘in part influenced by the memory of his father'.
Paddock's hotel suite had been stockpiled with semi-automatic rifles equipped with bump stocks and thousands of rounds of ammunition that enabled him to fire the weapons almost continuously.
The shooting started shortly after 10pm Pacific Time and lasted over 10 minutes.
A video posted on YouTube later that time showed weapons scattered throughout Paddock's hotel suite. That same night he was found dead in the suite from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
MGM acknowledges no Liability
MGM Resorts International, the owner of Mandalay Bay, did not acknowledge any liabilities from the incident. However, it agreed to pay $49 million in the settlement, while its insurers would pay $751 million. This is their way to finally allow victims and their families move forward in their healing process and to avoid litigation that could take years.
The most severely injured victims may receive millions from the settlement. At least $5,000 could be given to those who filed a claim for unseen or minor injuries, but did not seek therapy or medical attention.
Eglet said, "We're hopeful it will be by the end of this year, but a lot could depend on appeals and how quickly and efficiently the administrators can finish their work. They've got a lot of work to do."
The exact amounts to be distributed shall be determined by retired California Judge Louis Meisinger and retired Nevada Judge Jennifer Togliatti. A claims management legal firm located in Virginia will assist the retired judges.