Four years after the Aurora Massacre, survivors are hit with an unthinkable blow. The twenty-eight survivors and family members of victims sued the theater after James Holmes opened fire on a group of innocent movie goers inside, but lost. The judge has since ordered them to pay the theater’s legal fees which came to a total of $700,000.
Court documents revealed that Cinemark claimed they needed the money to cover the cost of evidence, records, travel and other expenses–$500,000 of which was spent on experts to testify on their behalf. They’re one of the third largest theater chains in the nation…and they’re shaking down massacre survivors for $700k?
The victims and family members sued the theater because they felt the lack of security allowed James Holmes to bring in weapons and open fire, leaving twelve dead and seventy injured. Unfortunately, the court thought differently.
Cinemark defended themselves by claiming they were unable to predict the massacre, therefore there was no way they could’ve stopped him. According to one of the survivors Marcus Weaver, the judge urged them to take the settlement that was offered, but they considered it a “slap in the face.” It wasn’t until after the judge warned them that they could be slapped with heavy legal costs if they lost, that all but one agreed to take the settlement.
“Either seek justice and go into debt, or take that pitiful offering of money and the improved public safety”
The plaintiff who declined to take the settlement deal was not only left paralyzed, but also lost her child in the massacre. She said the lawsuit was about more than the $150,000 deal they were being offered. It was about making theaters safer and taking extra precautions to ensure a safe, gun-free zone for movie goers.
Weaver felt like all the years spent pushing for security reform in theaters was wasted. Since the court ruled in favor of Cinemark, nothing was going to change.
“Theatres aren’t any safer. It’s almost like everything was for naught.”
It is absolutely disgusting that a company of this size is suing survivors of a massacre that took place in their theater. What kind of shitty human being decides to sue grieving, injured people? People who lost their children? People who lost their spouses? It’s despicable.
Featured image via Getty images/Dana Romanoff