A victim of the Las Vegas shooting has filed a lawsuit against the Mandalay Bay hotel and resort.
On Monday, 21-year-old Paige Gasper filed a lawsuit against the Mandalay Bay and MGM Resorts International, Mandalay Bay’s parent company.
The complaint alleges that the hotel was “negligent or grossly negligent” in failing to notice or take precautions against the shooter stockpiling guns, and that employees were not adequately trained to notice and report suspicious activity.
Concert organizer Live Nation Entertainment Inc., bump stock maker Slide Fire Solutions LP, and the estate of Stephen Paddock were also named in the complaint.
Gasper was shot in the chest when Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock opened fire on 22,000 people attending a music festival. According to the complaint, the bullet shattered her ribs and lacerated her liver. Gasper was then reportedly trampled by fleeing concert goers, before a Good Samaritan helped her take cover and drove her to a hospital.
Paddock stockpiled weapons in his Mandalay Bay hotel room before firing from the windows of his suite on the 32nd floor into the crowd, killing 59 people and wounding about 500 others.
“At all relevant times, Defendants MGM, and/or Mandalay Corp … knew or should have known that it was reasonably foreseeable that a breach of their duties to keep their premises reasonably safe in the aforementioned manner might result in catastrophic injury perpetrated by a gun-toting guest with an extreme intention to harm others,” the complaint reads.
Gasper is seeking an excess of $15,000 in damages. Her case is the first reported lawsuit against MGM and the Mandalay Bay, but it likely won’t be the last.
It’s extremely likely that more victims of the shooting will try to hold the Mandalay Bay accountable by bringing lawsuits against the company, seeking damages for things like medical expenses or disabilities resulting from the shooting, say legal experts who spoke with Business Insider.
Whether such a lawsuit would have merit would depend on many factors that remain unknown to the public. For example, on Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that a Mandalay Bay casino security guard alerted security of the gunman before Paddock opened fire on the crowd — something MGM says may not be accurate.
“This remains an ongoing investigation with a lot of moving parts. As evidenced by law enforcement briefings over the past week, many facts are still unverified and continue to change as events are under review,” MGM Resorts spokesperson, Debra DeShong, said in a statement. “We cannot be certain about the most recent timeline that has been communicated publicly, and we believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate.”
The company did not immediately respond to an email from Business Insider about Gasper’s lawsuit.
A lawsuit against MGM may require courts to break legal ground in terms of assigning liability for mass shootings that are becoming more common. As mass shootings become more and more common, premises may be seen as legally liable to take preventative measures.
“If Congress isn’t regulating gun ownership, it is going to be private parties … who end up regulating their own premises,” Heidi Li Feldman, a professor at Georgetown Law School, told Business Insider.