MGM asks shooting victims its suing to waive legal notices for charity

An Oct.16, 2017 file photo featuring workers installing a #VegasStrong banner on the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino. (Photo: John Locher/AP Photo)

MGM Resorts International would rather donate to charity than spend money serving legal notices to more than 1,000 Las Vegas shooting victims its suing, according to a report from the Associated Press published Wednesday.

“The money spent on personal service of process — up to $250 per person — could be better directed to do some affirmative good,” MGM’s attorneys wrote in the letter shared with the Associated Press. The company pledged to make a $500 donation on behalf of each person who waives being served or allows an attorney to accept the notice on their behalf.

Attorney Robert Eglet, who represents many of the more than 1,000 victims named in the suit, told the AP the move attempts to “spin” the company’s desire to save money notifying defendants ahead of the 90-day deadline.

“It will cost the MGM significantly more than $250 to serve them,” he said. “This is just more outrageous conduct by them.”

MGM manages both the concert venue and the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where 64-year-old Stephen Paddock carried out the deadly attack from the 32nd floor last October. Some 58 people died and more than 850 sustained injuries after Paddock, for reasons still unclear to investigators, fired into a country music festival on the strip below — ultimately killing himself as police closed in on his location.

In July, the company sued victims in a Nevada federal court, denying any liability for the attack. “Plaintiffs have no liability of any kind to defendants, or any of them, arising from Paddock’s mass attack,” attorney James J. Pisanelli wrote in a 60-page complaint filed on behalf of MGM.

The victims listed in the suit sought legal action against the hotel and concert venue in the months following the attack, according to court documents. Pisanelli writes federal law, via the 2002 SAFETY Act, shields MGM from liability because the company contracted a security firm approved by the Department of Homeland Security to monitor the music festival.

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