One of the hundreds injured in the Mandalay Bay shooting has stepped forward to sue the hotel, the organizers of the concert she was attending, the makers of the bump stocks the shooter used, and the shooter’s estate.
Paige Gasper, 21, was attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival when Stephen Paddock opened fire on the crowd. The Sonoma State student was shot under her right arm, and the bullet went through her ribs and liver before exiting on her left side. She was inadvertently trampled by members of the crowd looking to escape but was aided by several people who helped her hide and escape. She was put in a pickup truck and taken to the hospital, allowing her to survive her extensive injuries.
Now, she’s filing a $135K lawsuit against the parties she believes were negligent during the shooting. Gasper is suing MGM Resorts International and its subsidiary Mandalay Corp for their late response to the shooting of hotel security guard Jesus Campos, shot six minutes before the killings, and for failing to notice Paddock bringing almost 20 guns into his room.
In her suit, she also alleges that Live Nation Entertainment, the organizers of the Route 91 Festival, didn’t provide adequate emergency exits and failed to train staff for emergencies. Her suit against Slide Fire Solution, the makers of the bump stocks Paddock used to convert his weapons into automatics, alleges that their product “contributed to Paddock’s commission of the mass shooting.” Finally, Gasper is also suing Paddock’s estate, as the shooter “acted with malice and evil intent, causing her injuries.”
Gasper’s lawsuit is not the only one to come out of the shooting. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed a lawsuit against Slide Fire Solutions on October 10th, alleging that the substantial death toll “resulted from the military-style arsenal that the defendants manufactured, marketed, and sold to the public, without any reasonable measures or safeguards.”
The lawsuits against Slide Fire are of interest to many legal experts because of a 2005 law that protects “manufacturers of firearms, component parts or ammunition” from responsibility if their products are used to commit a crime. However, it’s unsure whether bump stocks are protected under the law, and the law isn’t applicable in cases of negligence. Although Slide Fire claimed that their products existed to assist “persons whose hands have limited mobility,” there were allegedly no measures in place to prevent abled people from buying them. Indeed, the company’s founder boasted that they were for “people like me [who] love full [automatic].”
In response to Gasper’s suit, MGM pledged to respond through “the appropriate legal channels,” Live Nation did not comment on the litigation, and neither Slide Fire nor Paddock’s estate returned press inquiries. It remains uncertain whether any of her claims will be upheld in court, but for Gasper’s legal team, it isn’t about the payout. According to attorney Michelle Tuegel, their goal is to get “action and answers.”
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