Judge Dismisses Lawsuits Against Cinemark Over 2012 Aurora Theater Shooting

A federal judge has sided with Cinemark in lawsuits filed by the families of the victims of the 2012 shootings at an Aurora, Colo., multiplex, where 12 people were killed and 70 were injured.

The plaintiffs in the case claimed that Cinemark failed to take adequate safeguards, like placing an alarm on the exit door and employing security officers on July 20, 2012, when James Holmes entered the theater and opened fire during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

But U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to show that the theaters’ actions were the “proximate cause” of the victims’ injuries. That is the threshold required in a negligence claim.

“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 the plaintiffs’ losses,” Jackson wrote in granting summary judgment to Cinemark.

The ruling concerned 15 complaints brought by victims’ families or those injured in the shooting. Another 27 other complaints from survivors were recently settled with the theater chain.

Cinemark is the nation’s third-largest theater chain, with 338 theaters in 41 states. Last month, a jury also sided with the chain in a Colorado state court case over their liability.

Holmes was sentenced to 12 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole, plus 3,318 years for causing the injuries and for rigging his apartment with explosives.

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