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$1.2 billion payout for Las Vegas shooting massacre

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Two years after a shooter rained gunfire on country music fans from a high-rise Las Vegas hotel, MGM Resorts International has reached a settlement that could pay up to $US800 million ($A1.2 billion) to families of the 58 people who died and hundreds of others who were injured.

 

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Lawyers announced on Thursday it will resolve hundreds of lawsuits in multiple states that seek compensation for a range of physical and psychological injuries from the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

It comes two days after the anniversary of the October 1, 2017, massacre.

Victims say the casino giant failed to protect 22,000 people at a concert venue it owns, or stop the shooter from spending several days amassing an arsenal of assault-style weapons and ammunition in his suite at the Mandalay Bay resort.

The settlement creates the third-largest victims compensation fund in US history, according to a claims administrator who has doled out money in major attacks and disasters.

Kenneth Feinberg, who wasn’t involved in the Las Vegas deal, said he oversaw $7.1 billion in victim compensation after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and $6.5 billion following the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The amount of the settlement depends on the number of plaintiffs who take part, according to lawyers who represent thousands of people with claims against MGM.

“Our goal has always been to resolve these matters so our community and the victims and their families can move forward in the healing process,” said Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts.

An independent administrator will be appointed by a court to allocate money from the settlement fund, lawyers and MGM said.

James Frantz, a San Diego lawyer who represents 199 victims, said he expected a formula to be worked out based on the severity of people’s injuries.

A country music festival became a killing ground when a 64-year-old retired accountant and high-stakes video poker player fired out the windows of his hotel room into the crowd.

Stephen Paddock killed himself as authorities closed in, and they found 23 assault-style weapons in his room, many equipped with bump stocks that allow firearms to fire rapidly like machine guns.

Police and the FBI found that Paddock meticulously planned the attack and theorised that he may have sought notoriety. But they said they never determined a clear motive.

-AAP

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