NEWPORT BEACH (CNS) - A group of survivors of the Las Vegas shooting massacre gathered in Newport Beach today to lash out at MGM Resorts International, which filed lawsuits against victims last week asserting the company cannot be legally found liable for damages because of the shooting.
``I was recently informed by some friends that I was being sued by MGM,'' said Brian Ahlers, whose wife Hannah died in the Oct. 1 shooting during a country music festival across from the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino.
``I'm going through all this and still going through this, and to find out this huge company, MGM Resorts, is suing me? I mean, how do you deal with that?''Fifty-eight people were killed and hundreds injured when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from his Mandalay Bay hotel room on the crowd at the open-air concert venue.
MGM filed a series of lawsuits last week contending it should not be held liable because the shooting qualifies under federal law as an act of terrorism, and security services that were in place during the concert were federally certified.
The MGM lawsuit does not seek any monetary damages from victims. The company issued a statement last week saying the company was basically asking that lawsuits over the shooting be transferred from state to federal court to expedite the cases.
``We are seeking justice through the federal court system in order to reach a timely resolution,'' according to the company.
``We want to resolve these cases quickly, fairly and efficiently.''Among the victims speaking out Monday in Newport Beach was Riverside County sheriff's Deputy Jason McMillan, who was shot in the chest and partially paralyzed. He said he felt that he was being re-victimized.
``It brings it all up again and it takes me right back to being helpless, and I just want them to know that I'm not just a victim from the concert,'' he said.
``I'm a survivor, and they're not going to get away with anything. We'll keep this going, as long as it takes.''