LAS VEGAS, N.V. -- Sitting in front of a room full of reporters Thursday, the attorney for 199 victims injured in a 2017 shooting in Las Vegas said he was happy with the day's news of a settlement deal.
“I think this is a message to all the corporations and businesses around the country that they need to step up the security,” attorney James Frantz said.
Frantz only represents 199 of potentially 4,000 victims injured on Oct. 1, 2017, during a country music concert in front of Mandalay Bay.
Also in attendance at the news conference was Chelsea Romo, a single mother of two who was among those injured in the shooting. She lost one eye and sustained other head injuries she may never recover from. “My life is forever changed,” Romo said. “Every morning I have to get up and put my lens in, and then take it out, and click my heel behind every step I go down to know where the next step is. I’m not allowed to drive in the dark. I don’t think it’s anything I’ll be able to put behind me.”
MGM Resorts International and the victims of the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting reached a landmark settlement worth between $735 million and $800 million, depending on the number of claimants, MGM said in a statement Thursday.
MGM said the settlement is not an admission of liability in the October 1, 2017 mass shooting that left 58 dead and hundreds wounded or injured. It is the worst mass shooting in modern American history.
"Our goal has always been to resolve these matters so our community and the victims and their families can move forward in the healing process," said Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts. "This agreement with the Plaintiffs' Counsel is a major step, and one that we hoped for a long time would be possible.
"We have always believed that prolonged litigation around these matters is in no one's best interest. It is our sincere hope that this agreement means that scenario will be avoided," Murren added.
Robert Eglet, a lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said the agreement marks a milestone in the recovery process.
"While nothing will be able to bring back the lives lost or undo the horrors so many suffered on that day, this settlement will provide fair compensation for thousands of victims and their families," Eglet said. "MGM Resorts is a valued member of the Las Vegas community and this settlement represents good corporate citizenship on their part. We believe that the terms of this settlement represent the best outcome for our clients and will provide the greatest good for those impacted by these events."
The gunman, a reclusive 64-year-old gambler, sprayed bullets on a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, which is owned and operated by MGM Resorts. He fired for between 10 to 15 minutes at the country music festival, killing 58 people. As many as 700 people were wounded or injured trying to escape the area.
The shooter was found dead in his hotel room with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Investigators have not been able to determine his motive in carrying out the massacre -- or whether he even had one.
According to a regulatory filing released in May, MGM said it could pay as much as $800 million for lawsuits related to the mass shooting. The document noted that the company has about $751 million in insurance coverage that can be used to help cover such costs.