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Shooting victims outraged over MGM’s lawsuit against them

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Jason McMillan, 36, of Riverside, a Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy who was shot and paralyzed in the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas shooting, reacts as he talks about that evening and is upset MGM’s decision, during a personal account brought together by attorneys at a news conference today in Newport Beach, Calif. Behind McMillan are images of the shooting victims of the October 1, 2017 shooting. Victims of the fatal mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival are outraged they are being sued by MGM, which owns the hotel where the gunman opened fire.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Brian Ahlers, 38, of Beaumont, Calif., who was at the concert where he lost his wife from gunfire in the Oct, 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting, talks about that evening and MGM’s decision, during a personal account brought together by attorneys at a news conference today in Newport Beach, Calif. Victims of the fatal mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival are outraged they are being sued by MGM, which owns the hotel where the gunman opened fire.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Joyce Shipp, 72, of Las Vegas, who lost her daughter, Laura Shipp, from gunfire in the Oct, 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting, talks about that evening and MGM’s decision, during a personal account brought together by attorneys at a news conference today in Newport Beach, Calif. Victims of the fatal mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival are outraged they are being sued by MGM, which owns the hotel where the gunman opened fire.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. >> Victims of a fatal mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival said they were outraged today when they learned they were being sued by the company that owns the hotel where the gunman opened fire.

Jason McMillan, a 36-year-old Riverside County sheriff’s deputy who was shot and paralyzed, said he can’t believe MGM officials would try to foist blame onto anyone but themselves.

“I just can’t believe the audacity,” McMillan said at a press conference in Southern California where survivors, victims’ relatives and attorneys railed against the decision to file lawsuits against hundreds of victims.

“I’m not just a victim from the concert. I’m a survivor, and they’re not going to get away with anything. We’ll keep this going as long as it takes,” McMillan said.

MGM Resorts International sued victims in at least seven states last week in a bid to get federal courts to declare the company has no liability for the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

In October, high-stakes gambler Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds at the festival by firing onto the crowd from his room at the Mandalay Bay casino-resort in Las Vegas. Paddock then killed himself.

MGM’s lawsuits — which target victims who have threatened to sue or who have sued the company and voluntarily dismissed their claims — argue that that the shooting qualifies as an act of terrorism and that federally certified security services were used at the concert venue, which is also owned by MGM.

After 9/11, the U.S. enacted a law giving companies a way to limit their liability if their federally certified products or services failed to prevent a terror attack.

A message was sent to MGM seeking comment on victims’ reactions to the suits.

McMillan said he felt helpless at the concert when he fell to the ground and couldn’t feel his legs. His girlfriend helped drag his body over a fence and loaded him onto the back of a pickup truck where he lay staring at the night sky, struggling to breathe, while the driver plowed over curbs and through bushes to rush him and other victims to the hospital.

When he woke, doctors told him he had a bullet in his spine. He was afraid his 4- and 7-year-old daughters would look at him differently in a wheelchair. He was afraid of what they might miss out on, he said, because of him.

It was insulting to learn he was being sued by MGM at the same time he was struggling to rebuild his life, McMillan said. And it brought him right back to feeling helpless again.

“It enrages me to think that this company can just try to skip out on their responsibilities and their liability for what happened,” he said.

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