The family of a 21-year-old college student who was left with shattered ribs and a lacerated liver after being shot in the Las Vegas massacre “wants answers” from festival organizers and hotel management, one of her attorneys told Fox News, as police continue to remain tight-lipped about the massacre.
Paige Gasper, a Sonoma State University student, was working three jobs and saved up for a $236 ticket to the Route 91 Harvest music festival before she was hit by a bullet from Stephen Paddock, who was firing out of his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel said. Paddock killed 58 people in the Oct. 1 attack and left hundreds of others, like Gasper, injured.
“A kid like that expects two simple things: to have a good time at a concert and to be safe,” Tuegal told Fox News on Monday.
The lawsuit, and at least one other like it so far, is filed against MGM Resorts International, Live Nation Entertainment and a bump stock maker, among other parties.
“They feel like things need to be safer,” Tuegel said when asked about how Gasper’s family feels about the situation. She said the family is prepared for a lengthy case proceeding and investigation, including one that her firm is doing independently of Las Vegas Police, whose sheriff last appeared in front of the media on Oct. 13. No motive has been identified.
Tuegal also said her firm expects to be filing another Las Vegas shooting-related lawsuit soon and that Paige is “doing better” but still has a “road ahead of recovery,” including additional doctor and psychological appointments.
“Based on information we have from our client…and other statements we have gathered….our client was trampled a bit,” Tuegal told Fox News. “Chaos ensued after that.”
Tuegal blasted concert organizers as not keeping attendees of the festival informed about what to do in case of a crisis.
“There appears to have been no PA, emergency announcement. No pre-planned ‘here is where the exits are in case of the emergency,’” she said.
“Knowing these large outdoor events are targets is not new to anyone,” she added.
A lawsuit filed last week in Los Angeles by attorney Richard Bridgford on behalf of Gus Castilla, the father of 28-year-old Andrea Castilla who was killed in the attack, also criticizes MGM Resorts International for not keeping close enough tabs on Paddock’s actions.
“It's inconceivable to us that the perpetrator was capable of transporting what amounts to an actual armory of weapons into the hotel, especially in an era in which shooting incidents and terrorism are front page news on a daily basis,” Bridgford’s firm said in a statement provided to Fox News.
“What's truly regrettable, especially in these times of known heightened risk, is that this tragedy was completely foreseeable and thus avoidable. That such things will occur is a virtual certainty these days,” the statement adds. “As such, those who profit from attracting the public into their business venues must do a far better job of safeguarding them. As a result of their failure to do so my client has forever lost his beautiful and intelligent daughter of only 28 years."
The lawsuit also alleges that the festival’s exits were poorly marked for the panicked crowd.
“During this time, the lights at the outdoor venue came on, giving defendant Paddock, who had a bird’s-eye view of the music festival, more visibility,” the lawsuit says. “Gunfire continued to rain down during this time.”
A statement put out by Live Nation the day after the attack said the concert company is “heartbroken over the tragedy.
“And while we are stunned and grieving over this incomprehensible act of violence, we know that this is a moment when we must come together to prevent more tragedies like this from occurring," the statement read.
MGM has said it is cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation.
“We are grateful for all who came to the victims’ aid that evening, including our employees, first responders, the police and citizens who acted in countless ways to assist,” the company said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Out of respect for the victims we are not going to try this case in the public domain and we will give our response through the appropriate legal channels.”