Concert promoter, hotels in Las Vegas massacre are sued

People at the Route 91 Harvest festival, with the Mandalay Bay Hotel behind the stage, on Las Vegas Boulevard South in Las Vegas, Nevada, US on Sept 30, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Lawsuits were filed on Monday (Nov 20) against the company that staged the Las Vegas country music concert at which a gunman killed 58 people and wounded nearly 500.

Two hotel chains are also named in the suits, which accuse the defendants of negligence and failing to provide security in the Oct 1 massacre.

Perched in a 32-floor room of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Stephen Paddock opened fire on the concert crowd below with high-powered rifles. Paddock was later found dead in the room with a self-inflicted gunshot.

The concert was part of a country music festival called Route 91 Harvest Country Music.

Two lawyers said at a press conference on Monday that five lawsuits bringing together 450 shooting victims and their relatives have been filed.

The suits target not just Paddock's estate but also the promoter of the music festival, Live Nation, the Mandalay hotel group and its owner, MGM Resorts International.

"We all enjoy large venues and go to those venues," said one of the attorneys, Chad Pinkerton. "We pay to be there, and one of the minimum things that we expect is to be safe. And what we're going to show in this case is the defendants did not keep these people safe."

Live Nation said it remained "heartbroken" for the victims and their families and people "forever impacted by this senseless act of violence", and that it is collaborating fully with the police probe of the massacre.

The complaints say that Paddock was able to use his status as a regular customer at the Mandalay hotel and casino to gain access to a service elevator and amass an arsenal of high-powered guns and ammo in his room in the days before the shooting.

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