BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that claimed the lives of 58 people and injured hundreds of others will forever impact those who were there or lost loved ones, said local attorney Joel T. Andreesen.
But he hopes an $800 million settlement reached with MGM Resorts International helps bring some relief.
“It’s really, really a big day that MGM decided to step up to the plate and resolve these claims,” Andreesen said. “And it actually moved much quicker and swifter than most of us thought it would.”
Andreesen, senior partner at Rodriguez & Associates, said the firm represented eight parties in liability claims against MGM stemming from the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting where 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire with assault rifles on concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest festival.
Now a committee will review each of the roughly 4,200 claims and determine how much each party will get. Of those represented by Rodrgiuez & Associates, one is a death case and seven are injury cases.
The money is expected to be fully paid out by the end of 2020.
Andreesen, who worked the case along with attorneys Joseph Whittington and Noah J. Moss, said Paddock managed to bring 20 bags containing guns and ammunition to his room at the MGM-owned Mandalay Bay resort over the course of four days without security ever contacting him. He opened fire from the 32nd floor of the hotel.
A big point of discussion in the case was not only how Paddock was able to stock his room with a small arsenal, Andreesen said, but MGM’s approval of a concert site plan that had a couple entrances when there should have been “a lot more.”
The insurance companies for MGM are expected to pay roughly $750 million, with MGM itself paying the remaining $50 million.
Andreesen, who said the firm’s clients did not want to be identified, said they continue to carry a heavy burden from the shooting.
“They are still living this tragedy every day,” he said. “Each and every one of our clients is reliving it every day. This will start to bring some closure and hopefully by this time next year when we can wrap up everything it can bring full closure to it, although I’m sure they’re going to have lifelong effects from it.”