Over a month after a state jury declared the nation’s third-largest exhibition chain was not responsible for the fatal Colorado theater shooting at the Aurora Century 16 multiplex, Cinemark wants the victims to pay up.
With paperwork filed last week, the chain is seeking $699,187.13 in legal fees and other costs from the nearly 30 plaintiffs in the consolidated action. Those plaintiffs are victims and surviving family members of those killed in the July 20, 2012 shooting at the Aurora theater during a screening of The Dark Night Rises.
Some are parents of those who gave up their lives saving others in the theater and others are those who were badly wounded.
As is true in many jurisdictions across the nation, state law in Colorado allows the winning side in a civil case to seek costs. After years of legal battling, Cinemark won the state case on May 19 when the 6-person jury delivered a unanimous verdict that the chain was not partially liable for the massacre that killed 12 and left 70 injured.
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.
On June 24, Cinemark was successful in having a federal case on the matter dismissed.“The Court concludes that a reasonable jury could not plausibly find that Cinemark’s actions or inactions were a substantial factor in causing this tragedy,” U.S. District Judge R. Brook Jackson wrote in his ruling. Cinemark was awarded “reasonable costs” in that case too, but have not sought out any payment as of yet.