A Las Vegas judge has dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit filed after a gunman set Resorts World Manila on fire and killed 37 people and injured dozens more.
“The event did not happen here and there are no witnesses here,” District Judge Nancy Allf said in a hearing Thursday.
But a lawyer for the plaintiffs said after the hearing that they plan to appeal the judge’s decision.
“We are still waiting for justice. Human life is precious, ”said Hwa-Min Hsu. “It won’t be the end. Because in the Philippines there is no justice. And I don’t want that to happen to Americans.
Hsu drew comparisons to the October 1, 2017 shooting on the Strip and said he was concerned that Resorts World Las Vegas, which is due to open on June 24, may have safety precautions in place. another tragic attack.
Las Vegas attorney Kevin Hansen filed a lawsuit in Clark County in 2019 on behalf of the family of Tung-Tsung Hung and Pi-Ling Lee Hung.
The Hung were visiting the Philippines from Taiwan on June 2, 2017 and were considered VIP guests, according to the complaint. Just after midnight, a gunman entered the casino, shot through the doors, and poured gasoline on the tables and slot machines. He then locked himself in a hotel room, set it on fire and shot himself, according to the lawsuit.
To hide from the fire, the employees led the Hung and others to a pantry in the VIP room, where they died from smoke inhalation.
Hansen argued that pursuing litigation in the Philippines would be unfair because of the corruption and alleged “cover-ups” after the tragedy.
He also argued that Nevada became the jurisdiction when Resorts World purchased the property in 2013 and obtained gambling licenses in the state.
“We are asking that these plaintiffs be given the opportunity to come to this tribunal and present to this tribunal the opportunity to give them the voice that they cannot get anywhere else,” Hansen told the judge on Thursday.
According to the complaint, the defendants “have publicly admitted ‘loopholes’ in their security, allowing the attacks to take place, resulting in the tragic and untimely death of Mr. and Mrs. Hungs.”
Lawyers allege that sprinklers and fire safety systems failed that night, resulting in the suffocation of 37 people. Security also misled police into believing everyone had been evacuated so their bodies were not found until six o’clock, court records said.
Resorts World Las Vegas LLC, Resorts World Manila, owner Kok Thay Lim, his company Genting Berhad and other entities are named in the lawsuit.
Mark Ferrario, the defendants’ attorney, called the filing of the complaint in Clark County a “Hail Mary.”
“Resorts World Las Vegas has no connection with the incident,” he said.
The judge agreed and said that in order to justify jurisdiction in Nevada, plaintiffs must prove that all of Resorts World’s companies and Lim’s finances are mixed up and treated as a single entity.
“Given the strictness of Nevada’s gambling law, I just don’t think that’s going to be possible for the plaintiffs here,” Allf said.