The first lawsuit has been filed in the aftermath of the horrific Las Vegas shooting. Paige Gasper, 21, a California woman, was wounded last weekend at the Las Vegas music festival by gunman Stephen Paddock. She has filed a lawsuit against the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Paddock reigned bullets down upon the crowd from a 32nd floor window of the hotel.
Gasper’s suit also names the music festival organizers, Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. She has also included a gun device manufacturer that makes a device to enhance a weapon to fire at a near-automatic rate. The Clark County, Nevada judge’s office stated that Gasper filed her lawsuit on Tuesday. The lawsuit cites that all of these responsible parties were negligent in adequately protecting her safety. Gasper sustained serious injuries. The bullet entered her body, shattering her ribs and caused severe liver lacerations.
In the October 1 shooting at the music festival, Paddock injured hundreds of people and killed 58. Many are still hospitalized with horrific injuries.
MGM Resorts International owns the subsidiary Mandalay Corporation, and both are named in the lawsuit, which blames the companies for not adequately screening Paddock as a hotel guest. The lawsuit also criticizes MGM and Mandalay for not having an adequate security response by hotel security officers to the shooting.
It has already been determined that Paddock fired at a hotel security officer six minutes prior to opening fire from the window down onto the festival. Live Nation was named as not providing adequately trained staff regarding what to do in an emergency situation, and also for not building in adequate exits to the venue. Many people were injured by being trampled as the chaotic crowd fled in panic.
Neither company has replied to the press yet regarding comments about the lawsuit, but other lawyers have said that Gasper will have a hard time proving her case in court. As an attorney specializing in personal injury cases, Victor Schwartz said that these companies would have had to have foreseen the shooting. That, he says, will be very difficult to prove.
Let’s not leave out firearm device manufacturer Slide Fire Solutions, the company that makes the device that Paddock used to fire his gun faster. Slide Fire makes the bump stock device that has been discussed recently by Congress and others. Gasper is suing them for negligence as well as for manufacturing and design defects.
A bump stock device gives automatic capability to a semi-automatic rifle. Fully automatic machine guns have heavy restrictions in the United States but bump devices are perfectly legal to use and install on a weapon. The law has been in place for a while, requiring owners of fully automatic weapons manufactured before 1986 to obtain a federal license. Weapons made after 1986 are illegal.
Thanks to Congress, Gasper will have a particularly difficult time winning her case against Slide Fire. In 2005, Congress enacted a law that prevents these kinds of liability suits against gun and gun component manufacturers when their products are used in a criminal fashion. Like the hotel companies, Slide Fire has not yet commented on Gasper’s lawsuit.
To be thorough, Gasper is also suing Paddock’s estate, stating that he intentionally inflicted emotional distress on her, using the legalistic “acted with malice and evil intent” wording to accuse Paddock.
The New York Times reported that 12 of Paddock’s rifles stowed away in his 32nd floor hotel room were enhanced with bump stock devices.
Shortly after the Las Vegas shooting, bump stock devices became a focal point of discussion. The Massachusetts legislature voted overwhelmingly to outlaw them in the state, and even the National Rifle Association (NRA) announced that it too will definitely support significantly tighter regulations and restrictions on these bump stock devices.
When used, the rifle’s standard stock is replaced with the bump stock. When held against the shoulder, the bump stock frees up the rifle to rapidly slide back and forth to absorb the kickback energy, creating a rapid fire succession capability.
Congressional Republicans want the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to revise its previous 2010 decision and make bump stock devices illegal. Republicans say the Obama administration