On the eve of the third anniversary of the Route 91 Shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, Eighth Judicial District Court Chief Judge Linda Bell approved an $800 million settlement, granting the Joint Motion for Determination of Good Faith Settlement filed earlier this month on behalf of over 4,000 victims and their families. “It’s the first settlement in U.S. history for a mass shooting,” said firm partner Kevin Boyle. Filed jointly by MGM and members of the 1 October Litigation Leadership Group — Eglet Adams, Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP, Robinson Calcagnie and Munger, Tolles & Olson — the motion stated a settlement had been reached in good faith and that the parties involved negotiated a fair and reasonable settlement amount to compensate the victims.
In rendering her decision, Chief Judge Bell determined the following:
- The amount of the settlement, eight-hundred million dollars ($800,000,000.00) which was reached after a lengthy mediation and extensive arms’-length negotiations, considering the damages suffered by the Plaintiffs, the near unanimous participation in the Settlement among potential claimaints, and the legal complexities in the case, weighs in favor of a finding that the Settlement was reached in good faith;
- With this Settlement, MGM exhausted its insurance limit of seven-hundred fifty-one million dollars ($751,000,000.00) which weighs in favor of a finding that the Settlement was reached in good faith;
- The allocation of the Settlement proceeds among the Plaintiffs is being facilitated
through an intricate, Court approved, Claims Protocol, involving Claims Administrators, the Honorable Jennifer Togliatti (Ret.) and the Honorable Louis Meisinger (Ret.). The Protocol details separate amounts for different types of injuries, and applies different factors, such as a claimant’s bills for past medical treatment, future medical treatment estimates, and loss of income, to fairly and appropriately compensate each claimant’s individual injuries, thus weighing in favor of a finding that the Settlement was reached in good faith;
- MGM’s financial condition was not a factor in the determination of the
Settlement. In addition to MGM’s full policy limits contributed to the Settlement, as a result of the near-unanimous participation in the Settlement from potential Claimants, MGM agreed to contribute forty-nine million dollars of its own funds, all weighing heavily in favor of a finding that the Settlement was made in good faith;
- There was no evidence of fraud or collusion in this Settlement. The parties negotiated for months, with the assistance of the Honorable Jennifer Togliatti (Ret.) and the Honorable Louis Meisinger (Ret.) as mediators. Plaintiffs’ counsel sought input and advice from ethics experts to ensure the Settlement Agreement and associated documents complied with all ethical rules and guidelines, and the experts concluded that the documents and Settlement complied with all potentially applicable rules of legal ethics. Additionally, the parties appropriately selected the mediators to oversee negotiations—a tactical, non-substantive decision that did not require client consent. Ethics experts agree that Plaintiffs’ counsel appropriately communicated with their clients throughout the course of the Settlement. As there is no evidence of fraud, collusion, or tortious conduct, there is sufficient information to find that the Settlement was reached in good faith.
The order also states that the amounts allocated to Plaintiffs will be determined based on a number of factors, including past medical treatment, future medical treatment and loss of income. Those who are permanently and severely injured will receive the largest allocations and a minimum of $5,000 will go to victims who filed claims for unseen injuries and did not seek therapy or other treatments.
Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP represents about 600 cases, including 20 wrongful death claims and many serious gunshot and other injuries.
“My firm has been honored to represent the brave victims of this horrific event,” attorney Kevin Boyle told the Daily Journal. “They include children who lost their parents, parents who lost their children, and many people left devastated by life-altering physical and emotional injuries. We hope this settlement can provide them with some relief. We also hope that the precedent set by this settlement will lead to real change to deter mass shooting events in the future.”
No objections or appeals of the order are expected. The lawyers are hopeful that the victims will receive their compensation before the end of 2020.
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