Almost four years after the fatal Colorado theater shooting at Cinemark’s Aurora Century 16 multiplex, a state jury today decided that the nation’s third largest exhibition chain was not responsible for the tragedy.
In an unanimous and short verdict after less than a day of deliberation in the civil case, the 6-person panel said Cinemark was not partially liable for the July 20, 2012 fatal shooting rampage by James Homles at a late night screening of The Dark Night Rises that killed 12 and left 70 injured. “This is an unjust verdict,” said plaintiffs attorney Marc Bern after the decision was read out. The lawyer has indicted that the nearly 30-plaintiffs in the consolidated legal action will appeal today’s decision in state court. The trial lasted just a week in Centennial, Colorado.
A federal trial on the issue of security at Cinemark’s Aurora location on that terrible night is scheduled to begin later this summer.
Since lawsuits first started being filed in late September 2012, Cinemark has argued over and over that it could not have foreseen “a madman’s mass murder” could occur at the Aurora location, citing their had never been a mass shooting at a theater at that time. Plaintiffs have argued that Texas-based chain should have provided better security at the Aurora location to prevent just such shootings and other such incidents. The theater chain was unsuccessful in its various attempts to get the case dismissed before going to trial.
Holmes himself was sentenced to a dozen consecutive life sentences and more than 3,000 additional years on August 25 last year. The outcome of the killer’s trial also took away any chance of parole ever for the then 26-year old.
Kevin Taylor and Kyle Seedorf of Taylor|Anderson were the primary lawyers for Cinemark in the state civil case decided today.