In July 2012, James Holmes opened fire in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater owned by Cinemark. 12 people were killed and 70 were injured in the shooting. Holmes was convicted on 24 counts of murder and 140 counts of attempted murder.
After the shooting, approximately 60 survivors along with relatives of the deceased sued Cinemark, arguing that the theater was poorly equipped. The suit claimed that the exit Holmes used to enter the theatre should have had an alarm. Per Denver Post, victims also argued that Cinemark should have had armed guards at the Century Aurora 16 theater the night of the shooting, when 1,000 people were expected to attend the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises.” The suit ultimately affirmed Cinemark’s security shortcomings helped enable the attack.
Cinemark rebutted that if those closest to Holmes could not have predicted that he would shoot up a crowded theater, then it could not have been expected of them to do anything differently.
Kevin Taylor, an attorney for Cinemark, described the incident as “completely unpredictable, unforeseeable, unpreventable and unstoppable,” arguing that placing liability on the theater could unjustly extend blame to other businesses that have incidents they could not have predicted.
The jury ruled in favor of Cinemark, deciding the owner is not to blame for the attack. This means that Cinemark will not have to issue money to any of the survivors or the relatives of the victims who filed suit against the company in state court.
A separate case against the theater filed in federal court is still pending and is scheduled for trial in July, according to the Denver Post.