Prison riot in central California leaves 1 inmate dead, 8 others wounded

This undated aerial file photo shows the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo, Calif. (AP)
Updated 25 September 2017
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Prison riot in central California leaves 1 inmate dead, 8 others wounded

SAN LUIS OBISPO, California: Prison guards fired rubber bullets and pepper spray to quell a riot on Sunday involving more than 160 inmates at a central California penitentiary in which one prisoner was stabbed to death and eight others wounded, state corrections officials said.
No staff members were injured in the disturbance, which erupted shortly before 11 a.m. at the California Men’s Colony near San Luis Obispo, and took less than 10 minutes to bring under control, said Lt. Monica Ayon, the prison spokeswoman.
Nine inmates who suffered stab wounds in the melee were transported to a hospital for medical treatment, and one died there, she said. He was identified as Matthew Cook, who was serving a sentence of 13 years and eight months for burglary.
The condition of the eight others was not immediately known, but she said two of the injured were expected to be discharged and returned to the prison on Sunday evening.
At least three of the wounded inmates required trauma-level care, said Ron Yukelson, a spokesman for Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, where the prisoners were taken.
Ayon said the cause of the disturbance was under investigation. She said it was the largest riot, and the first such fatal incident, she could recall in her 22 years at the facility.
The California Men’s Colony, opened in 1954, houses nearly 4,200 minimum- and medium-security inmates programs near San Luis Obispo, about 190 miles (305 km) north of Los Angeles.
Sunday’s riot occurred in a medium-security yard where some 600 inmates were present, but the disturbance involved between 160 and 170 of the prisoners, Ayon said. The entire facility was placed under special restrictions after the incident, with virtually all inmates confined to their cells as the yard was being cleared, she said.


MGM sues Vegas shooting victims in push to avoid liability

Updated 13 min 37 sec ago
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MGM sues Vegas shooting victims in push to avoid liability

  • The company argues in lawsuits that it has “no liability of any kind” to survivors or families of slain victims
  • Victims with active lawsuits against MGM don’t face the company’s legal claim

LAS VEGAS: MGM Resorts International has sued hundreds of victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history in a bid to avoid liability for the gunfire that rained down from its Mandalay Bay casino-resort in Las Vegas.
The company argues in lawsuits filed in Nevada, California, New York and other states this week and last that it has “no liability of any kind” to survivors or families of slain victims under a federal law enacted after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The lawsuits target victims who have sued the company and voluntarily dismissed their claims or have threatened to sue after a gunman shattered the windows of his Mandalay Bay suite and fired on a crowd gathered below for a country music festival.
High-stakes gambler Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more last year before killing himself. Victims with active lawsuits against MGM don’t face the company’s legal claim.
MGM says the 2002 law limits liabilities when a company or group uses services certified by the US Department of Homeland Security and mass attacks occur. The company says it is not liable because its security vendor for the concert, Contemporary Services Corp., was federally certified at the time of the Oct. 1 shooting.
MGM claims the victims — through actual and threatened lawsuits — have implicated CSC’s services because they involve concert security, including training, emergency response and evacuation.
“If defendants were injured by Paddock’s assault, as they allege, they were inevitably injured both because Paddock fired from his window and because they remained in the line of fire at the concert. Such claims inevitably implicate security at the concert — and may result in loss to CSC,” according to the MGM lawsuits.
CSC’s general counsel, James Service, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it doesn’t comment on litigation involving the company or a third party.
MGM wants a court to declare that the US law “precludes any finding of liability” against the company “for any claim for injuries arising out of or related to Paddock’s mass attack.”
Brian Claypool, an attorney who was at the music festival during the shooting, called the lawsuits a “hypocritical maneuver” that will turn into a “public relations nightmare for MGM.”
“We collectively view this as a bullying tactic to intimidate the survivors who are rightfully seeking social change and redress through the litigation process,” Claypool, who represents dozens of victims, said in a statement.
MGM spokeswoman Debra DeShong said Congress determined that federal courts should handle any lawsuits over mass attacks where federally certified security services were provided.
“While we expected the litigation that followed, we also feel strongly that victims and the community should be able to recover and find resolution in a timely manner,” she said in a statement Tuesday.
Attorney Robert Eglet, who represents victims in a lawsuit pending in federal court in Nevada, also decried the casino operator’s move, saying the company is filing complaints nationwide in search of a sympathetic judge. He told AP he has been flooded with calls from victims.
“This is absolute gamesmanship. It’s outrageous. It’s just pouring gasoline on the fire of (the victims’) suffering,” Eglet said. “They are very distraught, very upset over this. MGM is trying to intimidate them.”