A civil jury has found that Cinemark was not liable in the 2012 mass shooting at its theater in Aurora, Colo., siding with attorneys for the theater chain who argued that the shooting was an unforeseeable tragedy.
Twelve people were killed and another 70 wounded when James Holmes opened fire on the crowd at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, 2012. Attorneys for 28 victims’ relatives and survivors filed suit in state court, alleging that Cinemark should have done more to prevent the massacre.
The attorneys claimed that Cinemark should have had armed guards, better surveillance cameras and alarms on its exit doors, according to the Denver Post. But Cinemark’s attorneys countered that the attack was “completely unpredictable, unforeseeable, unpreventable and unstoppable,” the Post reported.
Cinemark is the nation’s third-largest theater chain, with 338 theaters in 41 states. Had the lawsuit succeeded, it could have resulted in heightened security measures at theaters across the country. Cinemark’s lawyers emphasized that the odds of being killed in a mass shooting are extremely remote, with one expert putting it at one in 10 million.
The six jurors took less than a day to reach a unanimous verdict absolving the theater chain of liability.
Another trial on the same issue is set to begin in federal court in July.