Four survivors of the 2012 Aurora movie theater massacre have been ordered to pay Cinemark $700,000 in legal fees after a judge ruled the theater chain was not liable for the shooting.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the survivors had filed a federal lawsuit against the theater chain, alleging the Aurora theater’s lax security protocols led to the July 20, 2012 shooting attack in which 12 people were killed and 70 injured after gunman James Holmes opened fire during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises.
In May, a judge had reportedly warned the more than three-dozen plaintiffs in the suit that he was prepared to rule that Cinemark was not liable for the deaths, as the theater could not have predicted what Holmes would do. The judge reportedly urged the parties to settle, and Cinemark offered a settlement: $150,000, to be split between the 41 plaintiffs.
But four of the victims — including one who reportedly lost a child in the shooting, became paralyzed and lost another child she was carrying— remained on.
Cinemark won at trial, and, in June, submitted a $700,000 legal bill. A judge this week ruled that the four plaintiffs who had remained on were liable to repay it.
Marcus Weaver, a survivor who was shot in the shoulder during the attack, called Cinemark’s settlement offer a “slap in the face,” though he had been prepared to accept it at the time with the hope that the theater chain would be forced to make improvements to its security.
Now, the theater chain is apparently free of both all financial liability and the need to overhaul its safety procedures.
“It’s almost like everything was for naught,” he told the Times.
Holmes was convicted on all counts last July and was sentenced to 12 consecutive life terms plus more than 3,000 years in jail.
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