More than 4,000 people are seeking damages from MGM Resorts International related to the Las Vegas Strip mass shooting that left 58 people dead, the casino giant said in a lawsuit alleging its insurance company has failed to pay promised legal costs.
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts alleges breach-of-contract and accuses Illinois-based Zurich American Insurance Co. of failing to pay defense costs for damage claims stemming from the 2017 shooting.
MGM Resorts owns the Mandalay Bay hotel, where the shooter opened fire from a 32nd-floor window, and the Route 91 Harvest festival venue where country music concert-goers died and more than 850 people were injured.
Company spokesman Brian Ahern told the Las Vegas Review-Journal the lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas is about legal costs, not about coverage for a potential settlement with victims.
Zurich American didn’t immediately comment to the newspaper.
MGM Resorts has been in mediation with plaintiffs, hoping to avoid years of litigation in civil lawsuits in Nevada, California and five other states alleging that negligence led to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
“MGM is aware of in excess of 4,000 claimants who are seeking compensation from MGM for their claims arising out of the (shooting),” the Zurich American lawsuit said. “MGM disputes any liability arising out of the event.”
The company tallies defense costs left unpaid by the insurer in the “many millions of dollars.”
Brent Allen, president of Allen Financial Insurance Group in Phoenix, told the Review-Journal the outcome of the case will hinge on a judge’s interpretation of the insurance policy.
Allen said MGM Resorts will have to prove Zurich American breached the contract and acted in bad faith. He said it could be hard for a company with the money and resources of MGM Resorts to gain sympathy from a judge.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com