LAS VEGAS – A court on Wednesday approved a settlement totaling $ 800 million from casino company MGM Resorts International and its insurers to more than 4,400 relatives and victims of the Las Vegas Strip shooting, the most murderer in recent United States history.
The action finalizes a deal settling dozens of lawsuits on the eve of the third anniversary of the mass shooting that killed 58 and injured more than 850 at an outdoor concert near the resort town of Mandalay Bay.
“By the grace of God, my family and I will be fine,” said Stephanie Fraser, a plaintiff in the La Palma, Calif., Trial. “I needed to be able to protect our children.”
In her brief order, Clark County District Court Judge Linda Bell cited “almost unanimous participation in settling potential claimants.”
Authorities said more than 22,000 people were attending an open-air music festival when a gunman firing military-style weapons from the 32nd floor windows of Mandalay Bay rained rapid-fire bullets on the river. crowd.
Fraser’s 13-year-old husband Brian Fraser, vice president of a mortgage company, has died after being shot in the chest while dancing while country music singer Jason Aldean performed.
“Brian is beyond words for all of us – all of our family and all of our friends,” Stephanie Fraser told The Associated Press. The couple had four children and stepchildren. She and her attorney, Dan Robinson, declined to say how much they would receive in the settlement.
“With that ending, it brings the closure and allows us to put the pieces back together,” Fraser said. “Brian would want that for us. “
MGM Resorts, owner of the hotel and the concert hall, has not accepted any responsibility. It will pay $ 49 million, while its insurance companies will pay $ 751 million.
“We are grateful that this decision brings families, victims and the community closer to the closure,” the company said in a statement. He marked the anniversary of the event on October 1, 2017, calling it a “time of great sadness and reflection”.
Memorial ceremonies are scheduled for Thursday at several venues in Las Vegas, including a reading of the names of those killed starting at 10:05 p.m. – when the first shots rang out.
Attorney Robert Eglet, the plaintiffs’ attorney who spent a year organizing the settlement with clients, law firms and lawyers in at least 10 states, said the amounts to be disbursed would be determined by two judges at the retirement and he hopes payments will begin. by the end of the year.
“There have been no objections and we are not expecting any appeal,” Eglet told The Associated Press. “We will send order notices. After 30 days, the $ 800 million will be deposited. “
The case will be closed at that time, he added.
“Our company and other executive companies hope it will help victims and their families find a sense of closure and healing,” said Mark Robinson Jr., a California lawyer representing Fraser and over a third of the victims. of the shooting.
Eglet previously said that everyone involved “recognizes that there are no winners in a long, drawn-out litigation with multiple lawsuits where people and the community relive the event every time we try a case.
A line-by-line list of victims, identified by their initials only, spans more than 170 pages of a 225-page civil lawsuit filed on September 9 seeking compensation and punitive damages from MGM Resorts. He accused the casino company of negligence, wrongful death and liability in the 2017 shooting.
The applicants came from almost every state in the United States, at least eight Canadian provinces, the United Kingdom, Iran and Ireland.
In various trials, victims and families have accused MGM Resorts of failing to protect those in the concert hall or of preventing the shooter from amassing an arsenal of weapons and ammunition for several days before proceeding. start the fire.
Millions of dollars could go to the most serious and permanent injuries, Eglet said, depending on factors such as age, number of dependents, type of injuries, previous and future medical treatments and location. ability to work.
A minimum of $ 5,000 would go to each person who filed a claim for invisible injuries and did not seek medical attention or therapy.
Court documents in the case do not mention the shooter, Stephen Paddock, who committed suicide before police approached.
Las Vegas police and the FBI have determined that the 64-year-old retired accountant and high-stakes poker player meticulously planned the attack and acted alone. They theorized that he may have sought notoriety, but said they never determined a clear motive for the attack.