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Liability unclear in mass shooting event

Georgians were horrified by the mass murder of 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas by a gunman who was shooting from his casino hotel. As the families of the victims slowly begin to recover, questions may arise about who might hold liability for the incident and the resulting losses of life.

Some people wonder whether the event venue where the concert was held or the Mandalay Bay Hotel from where the shooter targeted the concertgoers might be liable to pay for treating the injured and compensating the families of those who were killed. Initially, some experts believed that the venue had done everything necessary to prepare for the event, including using security professionals and security gates. However, this mass shooting was at least the fourth that has occurred in recent years at entertainment venues.

The Mandalay Bay Hotel might also hold liability in any lawsuits that might be filed. There are questions about how the perpetrator was able to get all of his weapons into the building and why the hotel did not check his room for three days because of a "do not disturb" sign. It is unclear whether or not the victims will be able to recover compensation, however. It depends on whether or not the juries will find that the mass shootings were foreseeable.

The victims of a violent crime and their families may be able to recover damages from the property owners in some cases. Property owners owe duties to people who are lawfully present to correct potential dangers and to keep them reasonably safe while they are on the premises. If they have inadequate security measures in place, juries may find that they were negligent. Experienced personal injury lawyers may review what happened and provide their clients with honest assessments of whether or not they have winnable claims.

Source: Forbes, "Las Vegas mass murder: Whose liability?" Michael Goldstein, Oct. 13, 2017

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