DIPSHIDIOTS OF THE DAY
Bump stock manufacturer stakes claim in Route 91 gunman’s $1M estate
Las Vegas probate attorney Alice Denton was so close, she could picture it.
A court hearing Thursday was supposed to finalize her law office’s work on the Route 91 Harvest festival gunman’s estate.
With that done, she expected the families of the 58 victims to receive equal portions of his estimated $1 million estate by the third anniversary of the Oct. 1, 2017, massacre
An optimistic end to a long, complicated legal process
But last month, in the eleventh hour, the company that manufactured the bump stock Stephen Paddock used to fire rounds more quickly,
During that attack suddenly filed a creditor’s claim against the estate, arguing that it was entitled to a cut — or potentially all — of its value.
DIPSHIDIOTS OF THE DAY BUMP SOCK SELLERS
“Slide Fire, their creditor’s claim, will in effect wipe out the entire estate,” Denton told the Las Vegas Review-Journal ahead of the Thursday hearing.
According to the claim, Slide Fire Solutions wants the estate to share in any potential damages that may stem from a separate,
ongoing class-action lawsuit filed against the since-shuttered bump stock manufacturer in the days after the mass shooting.
“Paddock could not have injured so many people without a bump stock,” the lawsuit argues.
“Paddock may not have launched his military-style assault without a bump stock.
There are people who were killed, injured, and suffered emotional distress who would not have been, if Paddock had not possessed a bump stock.”
Slide Fire instead argues that it was Paddock who caused the attack, not a bump stock.
And because his actions exposed the company to liability claims, his estate should share in any damages the company may be forced to pay.
“We were so close to the finish line. So close,” Denton told the Review-Journal.
“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we’ve made it.’ And then my assistant came in and said, ‘They filed.'”
Thursday’s court hearing was supposed to lay out a plan for the destruction of Paddock’s weapons,
which have been in legal limbo since early 2019.
The instruments of mass murder held significant value, and at the time,
Denton wanted to maximize the payout to each victim’s family.
But selling them off to raise money for the victims, to which Paddock’s mother in 2018 had signed over the estate,
Meant they likely would recirculate, and could one day end up on display or used in another shooting.
The ethical dilemma made national headlines.
That’s when an anonymous donor from California stepped in,
Offering to cover their $62,500 value as long as they were destroyed — a perfect solution, as Denton saw it.
DIPSHIDIOTS OF THE DAY BUMP SOCK SELLERS
A few months later, though, another roadblock emerged:
Attorneys suing Mandalay Bay on behalf of survivors and victims’ families asked for an order to preserve the weapons,
Arguing that they were crucial evidence and that destroying them could compromise their case should it go to trial,
along with other lawsuits stemming from the shooting.
When a settlement in the Mandalay Bay case later was announced, though, things were looking up.
The Thursday hearing was supposed to lay out a plan for destroying the weapons
Once settlement checks were distributed, likely sometime in the next six months.
But Slide Fire’s claim blew up those plans, Denton said.
The whole point of the probate case was to distribute money to the victims’ families, and now, that may not happen.
“What Slide Fire is doing,
Is taking money from the mouths of widows, orphans, people who lost their kids, and using it to pay for their attorneys.
And that’s wrong,” Denton said. “If bump stocks were not made, maybe Stephen Paddock wouldn’t have been able to kill 58 people.
The right thing for them to do would be to withdraw the creditor’s claim.”
Attorneys for Slide Fire did not return a request for comment.
Won’t give up
Denton said she could fight the claim, but the costly legal process could take years and would cut into the estate’s value.
If she doesn’t fight it, she would essentially be forfeiting the estate to Slide Fire.
“It’s very disappointing, depressing, devastating,” Denton said.
Still, though, Denton said she is not giving up.
“I really think that if the attorneys for Slide Fire were open-minded and would listen to me and hear a possible solution,
maybe we could make it work,” she said. “But they’d have to be willing to work with me.”
DAWG SAYS: IS SLIDE FIRE BEING BITTER HERE?
WILLING TO TAKE MONEY AWAY FROM VICTIMS AND FAMILIES?
THIS WILL NOW BE TIED UP IN COURT TILL THE MONEY IS GONE.
ATTORNEYS WILL BE THE ONLY WINNER HERE.
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