MGM Resorts Reaches Settlement With Las Vegas Shooting Victims

Oct 4, 2019
Originally published on October 4, 2019 10:03 am
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MGM Resorts has agreed to pay up to $800 million to victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting. But for many, the money means little. Here's NPR's Leila Fadel.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Two years after Lisa Fine survived the mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip that killed 58 and wounded hundreds of others, she's in a treatment program for PTSD. She speaks to me by phone as she drives back from a therapy session.

LISA FINE: I'm tired of feeling terrified everywhere I go. And I'm tired of the nightmares of that night. And the nightmares of - I won't even explain what these nightmares are. It's horrific.

FADEL: Her treatments are costing thousands of dollars. She's lost thousands more in income. Fine is on disability from her role running Route91Strong, a support group for victims of the shooting at the country music festival. And the settlement - well, it means that maybe some of those bills can get paid. But it doesn't end the pain or explain why this happened.

FINE: It doesn't matter what that number is. I mean, that is a significant amount of money. But the people that are lost - it's priceless. You can't put money on that. Nobody would say, hey, you know, I'm getting such and such amount of money. And in order to do that, I had lose my loved one. Nobody would want that - nobody.

FADEL: And maybe there won't ever be closure she, says. But at least with this settlement, something is coming to an end. She wants to put that day behind her. And she wants the mass shootings to stop.

FINE: Something has to be done. I plead with the president. I plead with our leaders. Just, please, can we do something to get all sides together so that we can stop the future mass shooter from killing innocent people? Please.

FADEL: Under the proposed settlement, all pending litigation would be dropped. And it's not an admission of liability by MGM Resorts. Robert Eglet, the lead attorney negotiating with MGM on behalf of the victims, praised the company in a press conference for doing right by the victims. He says it was the best deal that thousands of people who filed claims could have gotten.

ROBERT EGLET: What happened that night and the impacts on these people is horrific. But this is a step in the right direction to try to put that behind us for our community and these victims.

GUS CASTILLA: It's hard to understand what to feel. You know, my daughter's not here anymore, you know?

FADEL: Gus Castilla's daughter Andrea was killed in the massacre. She was 27. She was wearing the jacket her dad got her on her birthday. He says she always loved what he bought her. He misses her. When she worked at Sephora, he'd go meet her for lunch sometimes. And she'd get so excited.

CASTILLA: This is not a normal thing for a kid to be so excited to have lunch with their dad. She just really looked up to me and loved me.

FADEL: On the morning of the second anniversary this week, Castilla woke up at 5 a.m.

CASTILLA: I had my phone, and I looked at her picture. And I started bawling into tears - just I felt, like, deep pain in my heart.

FADEL: But then he showered and had a beautiful day, he says. He feels she's with him. And he says he knows she'd want him and her three siblings to live and to find joy. Leila Fadel, NPR News.

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