MGM Resorts makes right move in 1 October settlement By John L. Smith, CDC Gaming Reports October 10, 2019 at 4:00 am Credit MGM Resorts International for doing not only the smart thing, but also the right thing with its recent agreement to settle the potentially devastating litigation in the aftermath of the October 1 mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. By now, the grim statistics have been burned into many memories: More than 1,000 bullets fired from nearly two-dozen assault-style weapons with bump stock enhancements by a lone gunman positioned on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. Fifty-eight murdered, hundreds wounded and injured, thousands traumatized, a town changed forever in a country that has, thus far, refused to address its gun obsession. And so it was no surprise that 4,400 people joined lawsuits filed by firms in California and Nevada against several defendants, most prominently MGM Resorts – the Silver State’s largest employer. Shutterstock.com What is more surprising, at least to me, has been the relative comity displayed in recent months by the attorneys for both sides as they wisely mediated a settlement of an issue that threatened to devastate the corporation and tear apart the community for years to come. The final number reached, $731 million to $800 million, fell generally within the company’s insurance coverage, but that also makes it one of the largest settlements in the nation’s history. At a press conference afterward led by Las Vegas plaintiffs’ litigator Robert Eglet, the prevailing theme was almost too collegial to be true. At times Eglet might have been mistaken for an MGM lawyer he lauded the company so much. And MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren added in a statement, “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.” But that’s not the way most large-scale litigations end up. With an armchair quarterback’s advantage, arguments can be made that the plaintiffs might have been tougher, or that the company might have come out ahead in the short term by showing more teeth in defense of its position that its best efforts couldn’t have prevented the mass shooting. But in the end mediators in California and Nevada balanced the interests – one of which had to have been the interests of a traumatized community. And there was a peaceful settlement with millions that, eventually will reach the victims. That doesn’t solve their problems or provide real closure from their collective nightmare. But it shows a degree of maturity and respect that too often is wonting in corporate America. It showed a company, in the image of its understated founder Kirk Kerkorian, had a real sense of its place in the greater community. Not just as a major employer, but as a leader in a publicly traded world of litigious bullies and glorified hoodlums with MBAs. It may be far too great a wish, but it sure would be refreshing if the settlement provided a turning point in corporate America. It would be downright invigorating if MGM’s action was remembered as the settlement that awoke the corporate giants to the importance of taking a greater role when it comes to getting dangerous weapons of war of U.S. streets and out of civilian hands. It doesn’t solve the greater gun debate in America, but neither was the settlement a sign of weakness by either side. It gives all parties involved an opportunity to continue to heal as they move forward in what I hope will be a changed nation when it comes to gun safety. #commentary – MGM Resorts makes right move in 1 October settlement. –@jlnevadasmith, CDC Gaming Reports. https://t.co/Pu2jyfCex8 @MGMResortsIntl #CDCgaming — CDC Gaming Reports (@CDCNewswire) October 10, 2019 The one thing it most certainly should do is to help transform Las Vegas into the most secure adult party place on the planet. Companies have long recognized the growing threat of everything from terrorist attack to lone-gunman rampages in a place that’s so wide open. Casino surveillance here has long been on the cutting edge. But surveillance and security aren’t the same thing. A new bell has tolled, and it’s not just for Las Vegas. John L. Smith is a longtime Las Vegas columnist and author. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @jlnevadasmith.