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Legal Hurdles to Las Vegas Mass Shooting Lawsuits

By William Vogeler, Esq. on October 13, 2017 3:56 PM

With 58 dead and nearly 500 wounded, it's possible that just as many lawsuits could be filed in the Las Vegas massacre of Oct. 1.

But so far only two lawsuits have been filed, and legal experts say their chances for recovery are not very good. After all, the killer is dead and gunmakers have never been held liable for such shootings.

It's not exactly a crap shoot, but it will take some luck and good lawyering. Attorneys are going for the casino.

Everybody v. Mandalay Bay

It's a no brainer that plaintiff's lawyers look for deep pockets, if not first then second. Liability, or premises liability, may be the first issue for Mandalay Bay.

According to reports, Stephen Paddock checked in to the hotel three days before he commenced the mass murder. Before he opened up on the crowd at the concert below, Paddock shot a hotel security guard.

Maintenance worker Stephen Schuck heard the shots and saw the guard, who told him to take cover. The killer sprayed the hallway with 200 rounds inside of six minutes.

"It was kind of relentless so I called over the radio what was going on," Schuck told NBC News. "As soon as the shooting stopped we made our way down the hallway and took cover again and then the shooting started again."

Six Minutes and 19 Guns

Police first reported that Paddock shot the hotel guard after the attack on concert goers outside. Later, they changed their story to corroborate with the hotel witness.

Chad Pinkerton, who represents a student who was shot, said the victims deserved those six minutes for warning and protection. Who is going to give them back that lost time?

And then there are the 23 guns, including assault weapons with the notorious "bump stock." How did Paddock get them into his room without somebody noticing or reporting it?

These could become questions for a jury.

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