Last ‘Batman’ Claims Against Cinemark Tossed

     DENVER (CN) – The last claims against Cinemark Theaters for the July 2012 massacre at a “Batman” movie have been thrown out by a federal judge.
     Fifteen people claimed that Cinemark’s lack of silent alarms on exit doors and lax employee surveillance allowed James Holmes to storm the theater with assault rifles, kill 12 people and injure 70.
     But on Friday, U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson granted Cinemark’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the consolidated civil cases with prejudice.
     Jackson compared the case to previous lawsuits governed by the Colorado Premises Liability Act, including the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School.
     “In two separate cases involving the Columbine High School shootings, [U.S. District] Judge Babcock considered whether there could be another substantial factor in causing plaintiffs’ injuries beyond the actions of the two assailants — Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold,” Brooke wrote.
     “First, in Castaldo v. Stone, plaintiffs sued the Jefferson County School District, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, and various individuals associated with those entities. The court held that ‘Harris’ and Klebold’s actions on April 20, 1999 were the predominant, if not sole, cause of plaintiffs’ injuries.'”
     “Later, in Ireland v. Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department , the court dismissed plaintiffs’ negligence claim against the organizer of a gun show at which Harris and Klebold purchased a shotgun. Mirroring the analysis in Castaldo, the court reasoned that ‘[e]ven if [the gun show organizer’s] actions contributed in some way to plaintiff’s injuries,’ the shooters’ actions ‘were the predominant, if not sole cause’ of the injuries.”
     Jackson ruled that even if the theater’s practices contributed to the shooting to some extent, “Holmes’ premeditated and intentional actions were the predominant cause of plaintiffs’ losses. … “A reasonable jury could not plausibly find that Cinemark’s actions or inactions were a substantial factor in causing this tragedy.”
     Holmes was given 12 life sentences in August 2015 for 165 counts of murder, attempted murder and possession of explosives.

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