After winning a civil case that found them not liable for the 2012 Aurora mass shooting, theater chain Cinemark is seeking legal fees from the families of those killed.
On May 19, a state jury absolved Cinemark of liability in the shooting, which took place at the Aurora Century 16 multiplex in July 2012 during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises. A month later, on June 24, a federal case was dismissed on the grounds that “a reasonable jury could not plausibly find that Cinemark’s actions or inactions were a substantial factor in causing this tragedy,” according to the judge’s ruling. The plaintiffs argued that the theater had insufficient security on the night James Holmes opened fire, claiming 12 victims, and on previous occasions.
Per Colorado law, Cinemark can seek to have its legal fees in the civil case—nearly $700,000 in total—covered by the plaintiffs, who are either survivors or family members of people who died in the shooting. Cinemark reportedly filed those court papers last week.
Cinemark did not respond to request for comment today on its latest legal moves in regards to the tragedy. Plaintiffs’ lawyer Marc Bern said last month that there likely would be an appeal of the verdict. Which means, this fees-and-costs filing could be a heavy-handed ploy by the chain in an attempt to halt any such appeal in return for dropping its own financial action.
As a whole, Cinemark has been less than sympathetic in the aftermath of one of the worst mass shootings in American history. The following year, after declining to meet with victims’ families, Cinemark offered them free movie passes instead.
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