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OCT
12
2 YEARS

Seven More Victims Sue Over Colorado Movie Theater Shooting

Theater owner Cinemark is alleged to have failed to provide a safe venue for a midnight screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises'; 12 people were shot and killed.

James Holmes Arraignment - P 2012
Getty Images
James Holmes

Victims of the gunman who opened fire at a July 20 midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises are now rushing to court to file lawsuits.

Cinemark USA Inc., the owner of the movie theater in Aurora, Colo. was already facing two lawsuits filed last month, but within the past 48 hours, the company has been named as a defendant in four more lawsuits by seven individuals.

All of the suits were filed in Colorado federal court.

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One lawsuit was filed on behalf of four individuals, two of whom were shot and another who is making a claim for the wrongful death of Alexander Boik. A second lawsuit was filed by the mother of AJ Boik, who also died. A third lawsuit was filed by the mother of Matthew McQuinn, who is said to have "used his body to shield his girlfriend from gunfire." A fourth lawsuit comes from the parents of Micayla Medek, who died in the theater that day.

As in the previous lawsuits, the victims are alleging that the heinous crime should have been foreseen by the theater owner. Twelve people died and dozens more were injured in the shooting massacre. James Holmes, 24, has been charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder in connection with the shootings.

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Here's a sampling of the allegations made in the new lawsuits:

  • "Although the theater was showing a midnight premier of the movie and was expecting large crowds of people to attend the midnight showing, no security personnel were present for the showing."
  • "Because of the amount of weaponry and ammunition, the gunman required time without fear of monitoring to transport the weapons and ammunition from his car to inside the theater."
  • "Any person who wished to make a surreptitious and unauthorized entry into the theater could easily determine that the lack of security personnel and lack of any alarm on the door at the right, front by the screen of Auditorium would allow them to leave the theater, and re-enter without fear of being discovered, interfered with, monitored or stopped."
  • "At no time during the entirety of this incident was there any action taken by personnel to assist or evacate those who were injured by the gunman."

Three of the lawsuits were filed by attorney Jerome Malman. The other was filed by attorneys Michael Sawaya and Robert Wilhite.

In response to the earlier lawsuits, Cinemark explained why it believes it has no legal liability for what happened.

"The fault here lies entirely with the killer," said the company in its motion to dismiss. "Random acts, by definition, are not legally foreseeable."

E-mail: eriq.gardner@thr.com; Twitter: @eriqgardner