Survivors of Aurora Shooting Have to Pay at Least $700K to Cinemark Theater Chain
Survivors of the 2012 Colorado movie theater attack will have to pay the Cinemark chain $700,000 for legal fees, according to a report.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Aug. 30 that four survivors of the Aurora, Colo., massacre, which left 12 people dead and dozens injured, have to pay up due to a failed lawsuit filed against the company.
They had filed a federal suit alleging that the theater’s security flaws helped enable the shooting, which took place during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” A judge in the case had first urged plaintiffs to settle.
A jury ruled that Cinemark wasn’t liable, the Times reported. In the state of Colorado, a law allows the winning side of a civil case to seek costs, which means that plaintiffs have been ordered to pay $700,000 to Cinemark to help pay for its legal fees.
Plaintiff Marcus Weaver told the paper that the group was first asked to decide if they were willing to accept $150,000 split among 41 plaintiffs. He told the Times he didn’t think it was enough.
“It was the biggest smack in the face,” Weaver said of the initial offer. “He was basically telling us, you’re right, they’re basically at fault, but there’s justice and then there’s true justice.”
“It was the 12th hour, we were all feeling the same way. We all knew they were liable. We knew they were at fault,” Weaver added. “[The settlement] was a slap in the face. But I said, ‘Let’s go for it because it’s better than nothing.'”
The theater shooting victims, he said, initially agreed to take the $150,000 settlement—but of the 41, one woman, who was paralyzed in the attack, rejected it.
Weaver said that after a jury ruled in favor of Cinemark, he felt like the years spent arguing were for nothing.
“Theaters aren’t any safer. It’s almost like everything was for naught,” he said.
The shooter in the case, James Holmes, was sentenced to life in prison last August. He avoided the death penalty.
Holmes was transferred to an out-of-state maximum security prison after he got into a fight with a fellow inmate, Fox News reported in May.
Mark Daniels, the other inmate, “ran through the slider, squeezing through as it was closing toward Holmes” and hit him in the head, Fox News reported.
Daniels issued a statement to the local Westword newspaper: “I’m sorry I couldn’t wipe him out and sent [sic] him packing to Satan’s lake of fire … It was just impossible to do with so many cops. I did get him six or seven good one … He was very scared.”