Cinemark Cleared in Batman Theater Shooting

     DENVER (CN) – A Colorado jury found Thursday night that Cinemark Theaters is not at fault for a 2012 mass shooting at a midnight “Dark Knight Rises” premiere.
     A jury of five men and one woman deliberated at the Arapahoe County Justice Center on Thursday for four hours.
     A civil lawsuit charged the theater with breaching the Colorado Premises Liability Act with their relaxed security measures and the wrongful death of 12 people. The trial began earlier this month.
     The jury had to determine whether Cinemark Theaters’ lack of silent alarms on their exit doors played a substantial role in the mass shooting carried out by James Holmes on July 20, 2012, during a screening of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.”
     The plaintiffs, made up of 28 families of both victims and survivors, spent the two weeks of trial arguing that, due to a lack of silent alarms on the theater exit doors, Holmes was able to prop open the door to the auditorium as the movie began so he could retrieve firearms from his car and dress himself in ballistic gear for the attack.
     The plaintiffs claimed that a silent alarm would have alerted theater personnel that something was wrong, and that there was already a dire lack of security hired on a premiere night that was expected to draw a thousand people.
     But the jury eventually found in favor of Cinemark’s defense. Kevin Taylor, Cinemark’s lead attorney, argued that Cinemark’s security was no different from the security measures taken in theaters across the country, and that “Cinemark’s policies and procedures were all appropriate.”
     Because a mass shooting in a theater was completely unprecedented, Taylor argued, it wasn’t Cinemark’s burden to anticipate or predict that such a crime could happen.
     Marc Bern, attorney for the plaintiffs, told press outside the courtroom that he would be appealing the decision.

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