Cinemark movie theaters aren’t getting many votes of confidence lately, at least not since the movie theater chain decided to sue victims (and surviving family members) of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. The shooting took place back in 2012, and it resulted in a lawsuit against Cinemark theaters, filed by victims (and their surviving family members). The plaintiffs in the Cinemark lawsuit alleged that the theater chain should have done more to prevent the unprecedented attack.
The lawsuit against Cinemark ultimately failed, and Cinemark theaters then opted to sue the former plaintiffs to recover the legal fees the chain incurred as a result of the lawsuit. The legal fees amounted to nearly $700,000, reports KREM 2.
Cinemark’s lawsuit is totally legal (the theater chain is simply trying to recoup the legal fees it paid it to defend itself against a failed lawsuit) even though it’s been filed against the victims of a mass shooting and/or their surviving family members. Despite the legality of the Cinemark lawsuit, however, the victims and survivors of the Cinemark theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado don’t believe that the lawsuit is moral.
Tom Teves, who lost his son in the Aurora Cinemark theater mass shooting said he can’t believe that Cinemark is suing victims and their families.
“It’s just enough. Enough. How much can we take? It’s unbelievable.”
If Cinemark is successful in its claims against the Aurora victims and their surviving family members, Tom Teves and his wife could be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars, despite losing their son in the Cinemark theater shooting.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) July 1, 2016
The Colorado Cinemark shooting took place nearly four years ago (the anniversary of the attack is July 20), and that was when Teves and his wife got the news that their son, Alex, lost his life in the attack. Twelve others were also killed in the shooting, and over 70 more were injured.
Following the Cinemark theater shooting, victims and their families filed a lawsuit against the theater chain. The lawsuit alleged that the theater chain should have done more to secure the theater in order to prevent the shooting in the first place. The victims and their families were seeking financial compensation for their losses. However, in May, a civil jury ruled against the victims of the Cinemark theater shooting. According to the jury, Cinemark couldn’t have done more than it did to prevent the horrific shooting tragedy.
— Eric Rosswood (@LGBT_Activist) July 2, 2016
— Darrean Scott (@VivaLaScott) July 4, 2016
— Karim (@Kaargav) July 3, 2016
Following the civil jury’s ruling that Cinemark wasn’t financially liable for the shooting, the movie chain decided to seek recovery for the money spent on legal fees, roughly $700,000. When the news broke that Cinemark theaters was going after victims of the Aurora shooting terror attack, social media erupted in anger and disbelief.
Many took to various social media platforms to call for a boycott of Cinemark theaters over the Independence Day weekend.
Legal analyst’s have also questioned the wisdom of Cinemark’s decision.
“From a legal and corporate strategy standpoint, Cinemark may have decided that they want to discourage future lawsuits against their chain for personal injuries. The question is, how big is going to be the backlash that the public chooses to impose on what appears to be a corporate bully?”
— Steve Mason (@VeniceMase) July 4, 2016
Mr. Teves has told the media that he and his wife joined the collective lawsuit against Cinemark theaters because the company wouldn’t provide him or his family with security-related answers following the 2012 shooting. According to Teve, Cinemark refused to speak to him at all following his son’s death.
Now he and his wife are just in shock that Cinemark theaters, such a successful and powerful corporation, would pursue financial damages from a group of people who “have already lost so much.”
“It doesn’t go away. Alex is still dead. It hurts everyday.”
Cinemark theaters’ spokespersons have yet to publicly comment on the company’s decision to recover financial damages from victims of the Aurora shooting.
[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]