A judge approved an $800 million settlement last week for victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas, believed to be the most deadly mass shooting incident in American history. There is a brief appeal period, after which the funds should be distributed to the more than 4,000 claimants in rapid fashion.
“We are hopeful it will be completed in a manner that we will be able to disperse the victims’ funds before the end of the year,” plaintiffs’ attorney Robert Eglet told CNN.
The agreement was reached between claimants and MGM Resorts International, owners of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, where the shooter was set up overlooking the grounds of the country music festival. With tens of thousands in attendance, the shooter opened fire from his room window, killing 58 and wounding hundreds more, causing chaos. As authorities closed in on his location within the hotel, he took his own life.
The settlement was initially agreed upon late in 2019, with plaintiffs arguing that the hotel’s security failed to notice the shooter hauling large amounts of ammunition to his room over the course of several days prior to the shooting. According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by MGM, the majority of the funding for the payouts will come from insurance coverage. A pair of retired judges are in charge of the distribution, which will be determined based on the level of trauma suffered by each victim, from those suffering emotional damage but no physical trauma to those who suffered serious injury as well as family members of those who lost their lives.
“Then it’s a sliding scale, people with more significant injuries, people who were shot or trampled, people who spent time in a hospital or maybe have ongoing care at home now,” says attorney Craig Eiland, whose firm in Texas handled some 1,400 plaintiff cases lumped into the settlement. “Once these broad categories are set, my responsibility is to make sure we have all the information possible, so the judges can make a financial judgment on each case based on things such as lost wages, medical bills and summaries of care.”