Just more than a month after it escaped liability in state court for the fatal 2012 Colorado theater shooting at its Aurora Century 16 multiplex, Cinemark has seen a similar case tossed out of federal court.
“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 late last week in his ruling (read it here). “Therefore, as a matter of law, defendants’ conduct was not a proximate cause of plaintiffs’ injuries,” he added, granting the nation’s third-largest exhibition chain’s motion for summary judgment on the nearly four-year-old case, first filed on September 21, 2012.
After several amended complaints and motions to dismiss, Jackson’s order puts to an end the plaintiff’s final claims in the legal aftermath of the “horribly tragic mass shooting” at a late-night screening of The Dark Night Rises that killed 12 and left 70 injured on July 20, 2012. Cinemark has argued over and over that it could not have known “a madman’s mass murder” could occur on its property.
“Plaintiffs claim that defendants failed to provide certain safety measures such as placing an alarm on the exit door or employing security officers on the evening in question,” the Denver-based federal judge noted last week on the case put forth by those injured and family members of the dead. “Even if such omissions contributed in some way to the injuries and deaths, the Court finds that Holmes’ premeditated and intentional actions were the predominant cause of plaintiffs’ losses.”
The final plaintiffs in the matter were Ashley Moser, Chantel L. Blunk, David Williams, Dion Rosborough, Evan Faris, Hailey M. Blunk, Jamison Toews, Jon Boik, Joshua R. Nowlan, Maximus T. Blunk, Munirih F. Gravelly, Nick Gallup, Richele Hill, Stefan Moton and Tony Briscoe. They were represented by consortium of attorneys.
Kevin Taylor and Kyle Seedorf of Taylor|Anderson were the primary lawyers for Cinemark.
The shooter was sentenced to a dozen consecutive life sentences and more than 3,000 additional years on August 25 last year. The outcome of his trial also took away any chance of parole for the then-26-year old.