Judge approves $800M settlement for victims of Las Vegas shooting

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Broken windows that Stephen Paddock fired from in the The Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino are seen in Las Vegas, Nevada, is seen October 4, 2017.
The attack that left 58 people dead in Las Vegas could impact America’s tourism capital, but only in the short term, experts say, predicting a full recovery within months. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A judge in Nevada has approved a total of $800 million in payouts from casino company MGM Resorts International and its insurers to more than 4,400 relatives and victims of the Las Vegas Strip shooting that was the deadliest in recent U.S. history.

Clark County District Court Judge Linda Bell on Wednesday signed off on the deal announced earlier this month that settles dozens of lawsuits on the eve of the third anniversary of the shooting that killed 58 people and injured more than 850 in a crowd of 22,000 at an open-air concert near the Mandalay Bay resort.

After a year arranging details, Robert Eglet, the attorney handling the settlement of dozens of lawsuits, was asking Nevada court judge to approve sweeping negotiations involving an eye-popping number of plaintiffs from nearly every state in the U.S., at least eight Canadian provinces, the United Kingdom, Iran and Ireland.

8 News Now’s Brian Loftus spoke with Eglet. Watch the interview below:

The line-by-line list of victims, identified by initials only, runs for more than 170 pages of a 225-page civil complaint seeking compensation and punitive damages from MGM Resorts. It accused the casino company of negligence, wrongful death and liability in the 2017 shooting that killed 58 people and injured more than 850 others on the Las Vegas Strip.

A man with military-style weapons rained gunfire into a crowd at an outdoor country music festival from his room on the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay resort, which MGM Resorts owns.

The company acknowledged no liability. It will pay $49 million, while insurance companies will pay $751 million, both sides said.

In a statement several weeks ago, MGM Resorts called the court filings “the next steps in the settlement process … thereby bringing all parties closer to closure so the community can continue to heal.”

Millions of dollars could go to the most severely and permanently injured, Eglet said, depending on factors including age, number of dependents, type of injuries, previous and future medical treatment, and ability to work.

A minimum $5,000 would go to each person who filed a claim for unseen injuries and did not seek medical attention or therapy, he said.

Eglet said amounts disbursed will be determined by two administrators — retired Nevada Judge Jennifer Togliatti and retired California Judge Louis Meisinger — with help from the Virginia-based claims management legal firm BrownGreer.

“We’re hopeful it will be by the end of this year, but a lot could depend on appeals and how quickly and efficiently the administrators can finish their work. They’ve got a lot of work to do,” Eglet said.

The court filings don’t mention the gunman, Stephen Paddock, who killed himself as police closed in. Las Vegas police and the FBI determined the 64-year-old retired accountant and high-stakes poker player meticulously planned the attack and acted alone. They theorized he may have sought notoriety, but said they never determined a clear motive for the attack.

In various lawsuits, victims and families accused MGM Resorts of failing to protect people at the concert venue it owned or stop the shooter from amassing an arsenal of assault-style weapons and ammunition over several days before he opened fire.

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