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Who is to blame for a mass shooting after the shooter is dead? Who can be held legally responsible? After shootings in Orlando, Newtown, Connecticut, and Virginia Tech, people have filed lawsuits. Now, they have started in Nevada, where Stephen Paddock shot at a country music concert from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on October 1.

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On Tuesday, a lawsuit was filed in Clark County District Court. It was named as defendants Mandalay Bay and its owner, MGM Resorts, as well as the concert promoter Live Nation and the company that made the “bump stocks” that Mr. Paddock used to make his guns look like automatic weapons. The lawsuit says both sides were to blame for the shooting, which killed 58 people and hurt about 500 others.

The suit is one of the first of what is likely to be many filed by victims of the shooting and their families. If history is any guide, most of them will need to clear some very high bars, such as legal protections for manufacturers and landowners, to succeed.

Paige Gasper, the plaintiff in the case, is a 21-year-old student at Sonoma State University in California. On the night of the shooting, she was with a group of friends when she was shot in the right underarm. After people trying to escape stepped on her, another concertgoer took her to a truck and rushed her and other people who had been shot to the hospital. The lawsuit says that she was the only passenger who made it out alive. After getting care in an intensive care unit for her broken ribs and cut liver, Ms. Gasper went back to her family in California, where she is still getting better.

The lawsuit says that MGM Resorts “breached their duty of reasonable care” and didn’t keep the hotel “in a reasonably safe condition” because it didn’t keep an eye on who was coming into the hotel and didn’t respond quickly enough when Mr. Paddock shot and hurt Jesus Campos, a security officer, about six minutes before he started shooting at the crowd at the concert. It also says that MGM, which also owns the concert venue, and Live Nation did not design, build, or mark adequate emergency exits and did not “properly train and supervise employees in an appropriate plan of action in case of an emergency.”

We live in a new normal, and the music and entertainment industries have grown a lot,” said Nathan Morris, the lead lawyer in the lawsuit. “In the world, we live in now, the old rules don’t work. At one of these huge venues, safety rules haven’t caught up with how well-known and popular these events have become. Paige wants things to become different. She wants to go to the next country music festival and not be scared when the fireworks start.

A Live Nation spokeswoman didn’t want to say anything about the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for MGM Resorts, Debra DeShong, said she couldn’t know anything about the lawsuit, but that “security has always been and will always be a top priority at all MGM Resorts.”

At least two other lawsuits have been filed in Clark County because of the shooting: a class-action lawsuit from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence against the makers and sellers of bump stocks in Nevada, and a petition asking the court to take control of the estate of Mr. Paddock, the 64-year-old gunman who killed himself after the shooting.

Mr. Morris said that more lawsuits over the Las Vegas shooting were “inevitable,” and that his law firm had already answered a few legal questions through a hotline it set up for victims.

He said of Ms. Gasper, “She’s not weird.” “But she’s very brave to be the first to say, ‘We want answers; we want to feel safe,'” he said.

Most lawsuits following mass shootings have had trouble: A federal law protects gun makers and sellers from lawsuits from people who have been hurt by guns. After a lot of lobbying from the National Rifle Association in 2005, Congress passed the law. It is called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

Timothy D. Lytton, a law professor at Georgia State University and the author of a book about lawsuits against the gun industry, said that putting the responsibility on the gun companies would be “unprecedented,” but the hotel and concert venue could be forced to pay the victims.

Mr. Lytton said that lawsuits against a place like a hotel or an event venue would depend on whether or not its owners were careless.

“The real question will be whether or not they were careless. “Should they have done something else?” Mr. Lytton said.

He said it would be harder to bring charges against the person who made the bump stock.

Mr. Lytton said that no one has ever won a case against a gun manufacturer because of an injury caused by criminal use of a gun and that no jury verdict has ever been upheld. “The argument,” he said, referring to why the 2005 law was passed, “is that the gun violence is not caused by the gun industry, but by criminals.”


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