AURORA | A federal judge has rejected Cinemark’s request for the court to toss a lawsuit filed against the theater chain by several victims of the Aurora theater shooting.

In a ruling handed down Friday, United States District Judge R. Brooke Jackson said the theater company had failed to prove that the July 20, 2012, attacks were so unprecedented that there was no way for the theater to see them coming.

Jackson said that while that argument held up 30 years ago when a judge threw out a lawsuit against McDonalds after a mass shooting at restaurant in California, the rash of mass shootings since then means businesses have to prepare for such attacks.

“One might reasonably believe that a mass shooting incident in a theater was likely enough (that is, not just a possibility) to be a foreseeable next step in the history of such acts by deranged individuals,” Jackson wrote.

The judge also noted that 80 of the 300 Cinemark theaters that showed the Dark Knight Rises that night opted to hire off-duty police to work security.

The lawsuit filed by several people wounded in the attack and the relatives of survivors is expected to go to trial in early 2015.

The shooting left 12 dead and dozens more injured. The accused gunman, James Holmes, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and jury selection in his criminal trial is set to begin in December. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

6 replies on “Judge says theater shooting lawsuit can go forward”

  1. Holmes left the theater and shimmied the lock so he could re-enter by the usually one way exit. Not an act of someone mentally incapacitated by far. Only thing that could have intervened would have been someone guarding each exit.

  2. My oh my, the theater should have “reasonably known” a deranged person would dress as Batman. arm himself with multiple weapons, smoke bombs, wear body armor, buy a ticket for a different, not honor his ticket, go into a different theater, sneak out an exit, prop open the exit door, return and begin to shoot people.

    The judge must be be blessed with presciently ability that he considers to be so common and reasonable that every-man, every business, and every governmental agency must have the same ability . With this precedent there should be no future shooting, no matter how bizarre, how unimaginable should not come as a surprise, a shock or unexpected.

    1. This Holmes episode has all the ear marks of a covert KGB operation. The masquarade, the feined mental illness, and less obvious was the US service man that was slated for duty with the NSA. This murder occurring before Snowden flew the coupe.

  3. So by his logic of “Jackson said that while that argument held up 30 years ago…the rash of mass shootings since then means businesses have to prepare for such attacks.” I can sue the car dealership that sold a guy the car that he used when he killed my with while driving drunk. There have been alot of DUI’s in the past 100 years, why did the dealership not check to see if the purchaser had a history of alcoholism or previous DUI convictions? Or can I sue the liquor store for not doing a background check into the guys history to make sure he would drink responsibly?

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