It has been 4 years since James Holmes murdered 12 people and injured 70 others in a mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater. Survivors of the shooting filed a class action lawsuit against the Cinemark theater company believing that the theater chain could have done more to prevent the massacre. Both federal and state lawsuits were filed, but a judge has recently dismissed the federal class action lawsuit ruling that the theater’s security was not a mitigating factor in the shooting.
According to court documents, defense lawyers for Cinemark asked the judge for money to cover legal expenses including preservation of evidence, retrieving and copying records, travel, and other expenses. More than $500,000 was spent by Cinemark to pay for experts’ testimonies according to the Los Angeles Times.
Victims like Marcus Weaver, who was shot in the shoulder, refused to accept a settlement deal suggested by the judge. Weaver told the Times that a settlement was a “slap in the face.” When the 41 victims involved in the lawsuit refused to take the settlement, the judge warned that they risked significant legal costs should they lose the case. Weaver spoke on behalf of the other survivors, “Either seek justice and go into debt, or take that pitiful offering of money and the improved public safety.”
At one point the plantiffs agreed to accept a $150,000 settlement that would be split 41 ways, but one victim refused. The stalwart plaintiff was left paralyzed from her wounds and lost two children, one of the unborn.
Weaver was left in dismay by the judge’s decision. “Theaters aren’t any safer,” Weaver told the Times. “It’s almost like everything was for naught.”