MGM Resorts to pay $800M to US shooting victims

By Beyza Binnur Donmez and Michael Hernandez

ANKARA (AA) – MGM Resorts International and victims of a 2017 massacre in Las Vegas, Nevada, reached a settlement valued at up to $800 million, the company and plaintiffs said in a statement on Thursday.

"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," Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts, said in a statement.

Murren described the agreement as "a major step" that the company hoped would end lengthy litigation.

"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," he added.

Stephen Paddock, a 54-year-old white man, opened fire from his hotel room on the 32nd flood of an MGM resort in October 2017, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds who were attending a nearby country music concert.

He killed himself as police drew down on his room, and his motives remain unknown.

Robert Eglet, a lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said the settlement will provide "fair compensation for thousands of victims and their families."

"Today's agreement marks a milestone in the recovery process for the victims of the horrifying events of 1 October," Eglet said in a statement. "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."

In May, MGM said it is "reasonably possible" that it will pay out between $735 million and $800 million for the victims of the shooting in a regulatory filing.

The tragedy is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, and prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to ban the sale of bump-stock firearm accessories that allow semi-automatic firearms to fire shots in rapid succession similar to fully automatic rifles.

Paddock used the attachment on multiple assault-style rifles to carry out the mass slaughter.

The U.S. has continued to grapple with successive mass shootings in the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy, including one at a high school in the state of Florida four months later that killed 17 victims and galvanized students there to call for lawmakers to take steps to combat gun violence.

But officials have done little to institute additional gun control measures, facing pushback from a powerful anti-gun control lobby led by the National Rifle Association. The financially powerful group unwaveringly defends gun rights, and has worked to thwart such efforts, including the institution of expanded federal background checks.

Trump signed off on the bump stock ban despite pressure from the association, which voiced displeasure.

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