The Las Vegas hotel where gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on hundreds of festival-goers is suing the victims of the shooting.
Paddock killed 58 people and injured another 500 when he started shooting from his room at the Mandalay Bay hotel into crowds attending a country music festival on 1 October last year.
MGM Resorts International, which runs the hotel, is now suing more than 1,000 victims in an apparent bid to avoid liability for his attack.
It argues that because a security company was working at the festival, the resorts company itself should not be sued for the massacre.
MGM Resorts International is not seeking money, but is attempting to block claimants from being able to file lawsuits against it for “deaths, injuries, and emotional distress resulting from Paddock’s attack”.
According to the lawsuit, the fact that a third party, the Contemporary Services Corporation, was hired as security for the Route 91 concert means the complainants should be suing them, and not the hotel.
It concludes: “The Safety Act expressly provides the federal courts with original and exclusive jurisdiction over ‘all actions for and any claims for loss [or] injury’ arising out of or relating to a mass attack where certified services were provided and where such claims may result in losses to the seller of those services.
“The Act and the associated regulations make clear that any such claim against the MGM Parties must be dismissed.”
Debra DeShong, spokesman for MGM Resorts, said: “The federal court is an appropriate venue for these cases and provides those affected with the opportunity for a timely resolution.
“Years of drawn-out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing.”
Robert Eglet, a lawyer for several victims, said: “I’ve never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like.
“It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level.”
According to CNN, the Safety Act was passed after 9/11 to encourage companies to hire third-party security firms, who had previously been nervous to carry out certain types of work in case they were sued after a terror attack.
The law allows a government contract defence to be taken in worst-case scenarios.
Although the law itself is broad in its definition of terror, the Las Vegas attack has not been labelled as such because the gunman had no clear motive.