UPDATE: Federal Judge Panel Denies MGM's Motion to Centralize Route 91 Shooting Lawsuits
MGM's request to centralize the litigation of up to 22,000.00 lawsuits has failed despite strenuous effort by MGM to keep shooting victims out of state court. The Joint Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, or JPML for short, ruled in a written order against MGM a week after hearing oral argument in San Francisco. The JPML panel ruling leaves in tact Judge Boulware's discretion to decide issues pending before him, as discussed further below.
Las Vegas Shooting Victims Lawyers Argue Motion in Las Vegas US District Court.
Attorneys for victims of the Las Vegas Shooting appeared today in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. Federal Judge Richard Franklin Boulware II presiding, heard Victims' motion to remand the cases back to Nevada State Court.
MGM aroused public opinion this July by suing multitudes of victims in Federal Court under the Safety Act. The Safety Act was passed by Congress in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The Safety Act was created to limit liability for companies that deploy anti-terrorism technology to prevent or respond to terrorist attacks. The lawsuits by MGM against Route 91 concertgoers aim to place MGM behind the protections of the Safety Act. Attorneys representing victims believe that MGM are presenting an unrealistic interpretation of the Safety Act because the shooting is not a terrorist attack and MGM is not a certified provider of anti-terrorist technology. However, if successful, MGM's strategy could trap victim lawsuits in Federal Court with limited rights and remedies when compared to State Court.
The Application of the Safety Act Requires Careful Interpretation.
Judge Boulware, an appointee of President Obama, posed critical questions and addressed key issues in a very detail-oriented manner. After extensive discussion with both sides, Judge Boulware made it clear that he wasn't in possession of sufficient facts to decide whether the Safety Act might protect MGM from State Court claims for negligence. Therefore, Judge Boulware ordered the attorneys for both sides to hammer out a discovery plan, including a timeline for MGM to produce records to substantiate its allegations in its lawsuits against Route 91 victims. A strict timeline was ultimately ordered by Judge Boulware to take place within 60 days of today's court hearing.
The application of the Safety Act requires careful judgement by the court because either side is likely to appeal an adverse decision. The court will be in a much better position to make the right decision once MGM produces the documents that it will need to substantiate their perverse reading of the Safety Act.
USA Today Called Action by MGM Resorts an Outrage.
USA Today's editorial board carried a substantial opinion piece July 19, 2018, titled: Las Vegas Shooting Victims Don't Deserve MGM Lawsuits. The USA Today editorial board stated: “The outrage is that any company would slap lawsuits on mass violence survivors.”
MGM's actions go to show just how much MGM desires to avoid any liability for negligence arising out of the October 1 Route 91 shooting incident. The lawsuits seek to hide behind the rarely-applied terrorism statute known as the Safety Act. Whether MGM's strategy is successful depends upon what the 60 day jurisdictional discovery process uncovers.
Southern California Mass Injury Lawyers
Napolin Law, a Southern California Personal Injury Law Firm, represents hundreds of the Route 91 victims who reside in Southern California. Napolin maintains easily accessible offices in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Besides that, he is monitoring closely the progress of the case. So, if you or a loved one has been a victim of a mass injury incident, call Napolin Law 1+844-984-HURT.