Jury Rules Aurora Theater Didn't Need Armed Guards

Cinemark won't have to pay victims of the 2012 mass shooting
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2016 2:21 PM CDT
Jury Rules Aurora Theater Didn't Need Armed Guards
Cinemark, owner of the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., will not have to pay the victims of a 2012 mass shooting, a jury ruled Thursday.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

One of the nation's largest movie chains will not have to pay the victims of the 2012 Colorado movie theater shooting after a jury ruled in its favor Thursday, CBS Denver reports. According to the Denver Post, 28 plaintiffs comprised of victims wounded in the shooting and the families of the 12 people killed sued Cinemark, operator of the Century Aurora 16 theater, alleging the theater didn't do enough to prevent James Holmes' massacre. They argued the theater should have had armed security guards, silent alarms on exit doors, and security cameras behind the building. They also said there should have been perimeter patrols around the theater, the Denver Channel reports. “If the theater hadn’t failed…this tragedy would have been prevented,” says Marc Bern, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

But the jury in the civil trial ruled unanimously that Cinemark had no reason to expect a mass shooting was imminent. Holmes' attack was the first mass shooting at a movie theater in the US. "If Cinemark is liable under these circumstances, every single business in the world will be held liable for what happens on their property, regardless of how foreseeable it is," the Post quotes an attorney for Cinemark as saying. Bern calls it an "unjust verdict." The victims argued that mass shootings are so common now that it's the responsibility of all businesses to be prepared for them. A second civil trial involving another batch of victims is scheduled for July. (More Aurora theater massacre stories.)

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