Survivors of the Aurora Massacre Ordered to Pay $700,000 in Legal Fees
By New York Daily News
The Aurora massacre survivors have been hit with a financial insult to their injuries
— owing the theater $700,000 four years after the deadly shooting.
In June, Cinemark attorneys shook down the survivors of the Aurora theater shooting, demanding $700,000 in legal fees after jurors in May ruled against the 28 victims and their families.
A judge has ruled in favor of the theater, ordering the survivors to pay the costly fees, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Cinemark, the third-largest theater chain in the country, claimed they needed the money to cover the cost of evidence, records, travel and other expenses, according to court documents.
The theater chain’s lawyers had spent $500,000 on experts to testify on its behalf, the newspaper reported.
The group of survivors had sued the theater for the July 20, 2012 attack, blaming Cinemark for its lack of security and allowing the crazed gunman James Holmes to storm in and kill 12 people, leaving more than 70 others injured.
Cinemark successfully defended against the victims’ arguments, telling the court the theater chain could not have predicted the mass shooting, and it wouldn’t have been able to stop Holmes, who threw gas canisters into the crowd of 400 people, opening fire with an assault rifle, a shotgun and a pistol.
During the trial, the judge had urged the survivors to take a settlement deal, which Marcus Weaver, who was shot in the shoulder, called a “slap in the face.”
But the judge also warned that if they rejected the settlement and lost, they’d be hit with the heavy legal costs.
“Either seek justice and go into debt, or take that pitiful offering of money and the improved public safety,” Weaver told the Times.
While the victims originally agreed to take the $150,000 settlement, a plaintiff who lost her child and was left paralyzed from the theater shooting rejected the deal.