The only person who’s liability needs to be limited is the security guard at Mandalay Bay who identified the room the shooter was in, and nearly got killed in the process.
Mandalay Bay to mass-shooting survivors: we'll donate $500 to charity if you stipulate that we're suing you
It has to be said, it’s hard to see how the Secretary could reasonably not make that determination given the definition:
Text of the relevant section
An act meets the requirements of this subparagraph if the act—
causes harm to a person, property, or entity, in the United States, or in the case of a domestic United States air carrier or a United States-flag vessel (or a vessel based principally in the United States, on which United States income tax is paid and whose insurance coverage is subject to regulation in the United States, in or outside the United States; and
uses or attempts to use instrumentalities, weapons or other methods designed or intended to cause mass destruction, injury or other loss to citizens or institutions of the United States.
i) is unlawful? Definitely.
ii) causes harm to a person, property, etc. in the United States? Yes.
iii) uses instrumentalities, weapons or other methods designed or intended to cause mass destruction, injury or other loss to citizens or institutions of the United States? Yes.
The Act is remarkably light so far as I can see on any mechanism for getting the Secretary to make such a determination but it does say he has to make it based on those criteria or such requirements as are further defined and specified by the Secretary.
In other words the Secretary can’t be arbitrary, she has to have a set of requirements which she uses to make her determination.
If there are requirements governing the exercise of the Secretary’s discretion, I’d be very surprised if an exercise or failure to exercise that discretion were not open to some sort of legal review - mandamus, maybe? - dredging my memory of lectures from far too long ago
Ultimately, if Manadalay Bay doesn’t meet the definition, then it would seem nothing does.
This would be a great idea if there weren’t a law expressly preventing that. A murderer could sue a gun manufacturer if he got a sore shoulder from excessive recoil–we can’t have shoddy workmanship, after all–but the people he shot are fucked.
In fact, if victims (or their proxy) tried to bring such a suit, not only would it be thrown out, they’d probably get hit with the gun manufacturer’s legal fees. It happened to the Aurora victims, or rather their estates.
Thanks for the information; this is above my level of competence at this point. I will suggest that there is a known motive for the Vegas attack, just not released yet. I would assume that Homeland Security is privy to that info, but these days…
Do you mean that you know of a motive or that you assume that someone does but we’re just not being told?
Either way the definition in the Act doesn’t really involve motive beyond intending to cause “mass destruction, injury or loss” to citizens of the United States.
Loss being defined to include death in typical legal understatement.
I suppose one could argue that the intention has to be to cause injury, etc. to citizens of the US as or because they are citizens of the US but in that case the difficulty is that it is not the perpetrator’s intention that is relevant but the intention of the person designing or choosing the “instrumentalities, weapons or other methods”.
I suppose it might be possible to come up with a terrorist attack using a weapon that is expressly designed with the intent of injuring US citizens only but that seems a bit limiting.
Thinking about it one could also try arguing that the ‘mass’ modifier is intended to apply to ‘injury’ and ‘loss’ as well as ‘destruction’. I’m not sure that helps much.
Granted automatic rifles aren’t usually classed as weapons of mass destruction but they are certainly intended to be capable of causing injury or loss of life that can be classed as ‘mass’ in scale…
Apologies if this is all pointless and boring speculation to you, I find this stuff interesting.
But then I am quite sad.
I meant that after what I assume is a thorough investigation, including interviewing those he interacted with in the days leading up to the attack, the investigators ought to have a pretty good idea of his motives. It was not an impulsive act, it required planning and prep. It seems inconceivable that there are not clues to motive there somewhere.
This suit isn’t a defamation suit. The Mandalay Bay is seeking a preemptive ruling that they are not legally responsible for the shooting and, thus, can’t be sued by the victims. So anti-SLAPP laws don’t apply.
A guest having lots of bags makes the hotel liable for their crimes? I really don’t want to go down that rabbit-hole, where we expect hotels to act like the TSA on steroids mixed with some sort of panopticon. I mean, Jesus Christ.
You know, TBH I’m not sure I know enough about the law to know if the hotel was being criminally negligent. But I think victims of this event should be able to do what people do every day – make their case in court.
There’s absolutely nothing suspicious about someone bringing “bag after bag” to one’s room.
If the response will be to X-ray (or spot-sheck) all patrons’ bags or some other bullshit “hardening” of the “soft” target that is Mandalay Bay, we will know we are entering a theatre of the surreal.
This is where I
The problem for the hotel is that it doesn’t matter if the 1000 people who are suing them don’t have cases. The cost of dealing with that, even if every single one resulted in quick dismissals from court, would be millions and millions of dollars.
But this is exactly what you’re suggesting the hotel should have done, no? Using their surveillance system to notice a guest had too many bags - and then checking the contents of those bags (unless you think guests having too many bags is sufficient justification to kick them out?). The problem, of course, is that there’s nothing illegal in having an arsenal in ones bags (because America), so in the absence of specific hotel rules (that I’m sure don’t exist, as these hotels no doubt welcome gun conventioneers), they couldn’t have done anything anyways, even if they had a min-surveillance-police state in the hotel rooting through everyone’s luggage. If they’re liable, then that means they need to institute that program.
I cannot imagine that the number of bags is an issue in itself. Or even guns in luggage, unless there is a specific law against that. I have certainly checked into LV hotels with lots of luggage, including firearms. This is because we sometimes stop in while heading to or from the ranch.
But the whole lots of guns thing is weird. A person intent on a mass shooting does not need a bunch of guns. You can only shoot one at a time. Maybe you have a spare, in case of jams. So an “arsenal” really poses no more danger than “a rifle”.
As far as the hotel’s liability, I have no idea what the victims are planning to allege. It seems like it would have to go beyond knowing a guest had guns in his room. It may also be that discovery during litigation is the best chance of survivors learning what actually happened.
Plus: who is bringing in “bag after bag”? Their wealthiest clients.
In a business constructed on supine adherence to client care, that’s the first note you want to strike on check-in: “Oh hey, are a sociopathic mass murderer? Lemme just rummage through all your possessions to check.” Can you imagine X-ray machines at all major hotels? a $100k machine, 2-3 extra security theater employees, long lines reminiscent of an airport.
It’s just not going to happen, and it shouldn’t. The problem wasn’t Mandalay Bay. How does MB foresee and prevent a mass shooter any more than a mall or theater or school or restaurant or city street prevents a mass shooter? There’s no negligence.
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