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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

MGM Resorts International, the parent company of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, has filed a complaint in federal court in Las Vegas that names the Las Vegas shooting victims who have sued or who have given notice they intend to sue over the October 1 shooting during the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

Between the lines: Technically, MGM is suing the victims. But, this is not a standard "personal injury" suit — MGM is not demanding money from the victims and the victims won't be providing testimony, per NBC News. Instead, MGM is seeking the federal court’s judgement on whether the court can rule out the possibility that MGM has liability in this case, in the context of a law enacted in 2002.

What’s happening: MGM cites a federal act, the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act (SAFETY) Act, intended to limit liability for security equipment manufacturers and security service providers that failed to prevent a terrorist attack.

  • The SAFETY Act was rolled out in 2002 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, after which many security companies' liability landscape changed.
  • MGM claims that it should be shielded from liability under the act because MGM meets two conditions; it contracted out security services to a vendor, Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC), and MGM considers the shooting as an act of terrorism.
  • If the court finds that the victims can't hold MGM liable, it is still possible they could sue the vendor, CSC, per NBC News. A ruling in MGM's favor would also likely provide resolution for the lawsuits already filed and expected to be filed.

What to watch: The case could hinge on whether the shooting is classified as an "act of terrorism." CSC, the vendor, has been lobbying the Department of Homeland Security to classify it as such. MGM, whose case would benefit from the event being classified as terrorism, would not comment to the New York Times on whether it has been lobbying the DHS as well.

Be smart: It's not clear whether MGM's claim is possible to entertain. The law has never been used before to try to block a company from liability, reports the NYT citing MGM's lawyer.

Go deeper

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

Scoop: Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley explains his objection to certifying the 2020 election results hours after the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is backfilling lost corporate and personal donations with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate the Missouri lawmaker as he weighs re-election or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.