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Is It Negligent for a Hotel to Allow a Guest to Have So Many Weapons in His Room?

On the evening of October 1st, 2017, a horrifying mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival on the Las Vegas Strip took 58 lives and injured nearly 500. The shooter carried out the attack from a 32nd floor Mandalay Bay hotel room, located nearly a quarter of a mile away from the concert site. One of the many shocking, almost incomprehensible details that has come to light in the days after the terrible massacre is the fact that Stephen Paddock was able to get more than two dozen guns and several thousand rounds of ammunition into his hotel room.

The heartbreaking tragedy has raised many different questions about what we need to do to make our community safer. There are also troubling concerns about what the hotel did, and did not do, and how the shooter was able to get so many firearms, including several semi-automatic assault rifles, into his hotel room at the resort and casino. At Naqvi Injury Law, we are committed to educating our community and making our city a safer place for everyone. Here, we discuss Nevada laws regarding premise liability when criminal attacks occur.

Las Vegas Hotels Have a Duty to Protect Their Patrons

Under Nevada law, hotel properties have a legal responsibility to look out for the safety of customers and other invited guests. This legal duty takes many different forms, from repairing property defects and removing safety hazards to properly screening and training employees and contractors. In some cases, Las Vegas hotels can even be held civilly liable for the actions of a (non-employee) third party.  Steve Wynn was interviewed by Fox News on the future of security in Las Vegas.

Was the Mandalay Bay Negligent for Allowing So Many Weapons onto the Property?

Ultimately, determining whether or not a hotel or casino is legally liable for the actions of a guest is an extremely complex issue. To answer this question, an in-depth investigation must be conducted, and a careful analysis of the specific facts of the case is required, both of which are still underway by officials and judicial channels, including city, state, and federal investigations.

In the tragic Las Vegas Strip mass shooting, we still do not know all of the relevant details. However, many important facts have come to light. For example, some of the key details that have been made public and that could be pertinent to this investigation include the following:

  1. The shooter checked in to his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Casino on September 25th, six days before the attack.
  2. He brought “at least ten pieces of luggage” with him into the room.
  3. Paddock set up cameras inside in his hotel room.

At this point, there is little doubt that Paddock’s behavior was suspicious. One of the most intriguing  facts about this case is that he was able to get a large arsenal of deadly firearms into his hotel room without raising alarm bells with casino security. When considering the Mandalay Bay’s potential liability, the most important question that must be answered is this: Could the hotel have reasonably taken precautions that would have prevented him from getting the guns onto the property? Ultimately, under Nevada law, negligent security claims generally come to whether or not the business or property owner reasonably should have taken other actions that would have made the attack less likely to occur. Extensive investigation into this case will be required to answer this question and determine who can be held liable.

Determining Legality

Was it negligent of the hotel-casino to allow this to go unchecked? Almost no hotel in America would require you to check in your luggage, nor do would they restrict the number of bags you are allowed to carry into the hotel. Most don’t have airport security-like screenings to detect guns and metal devices, and they don’t have cameras installed in the rooms to check up on their patrons. In many ways, we want to believe that the hotel could have prevented this, but it is difficult to say they would have known what was going on until it was too late. In the future, Las Vegas casinos and hotels may begin screening their guests, but it may come at the cost of other civil liberties. Either way, Naqvi Injury Law is dedicated to our Las Vegas community and the victims of this attack. Feel free to contact us about our services, and we will do everything we can to help you and your family.