Judge rules Aurora shooting victims have to pay a giant theater chain $700,000 in legal fees

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Cinemark Seeks $700K In Legal Fees From Aurora Shooting Victims



A survivor of the Aurora movie theater massacre said he believes "everything was for naught" after a failed lawsuit against theater owner Cinemark left four survivors on the hook for more than $700,000 owed to the company.

The survivors had filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the theater's security flaws had helped enable the attack that left 12 dead and more than 70 injured in 2012.

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The judge first urged the plaintiffs to settle, but ruled after the deal collapsed that Cinemark was not liable for the shooting, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Colorado law allows the winning side of civil cases to seek costs, so plaintiffs were then ordered to pay more than $700,000 to Cinemark to reimburse the theater chain's legal fees.

Marcus Weaver, one of the shooting survivors and a plaintiff in the case, told The Times he had been hoping a settlement would push Cinemark to implement new safety measures that could protect theatergoers in the future.

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James Holmes 'Dark Knight' Colo. theater shooting trial, Aurora, Colorado
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James Holmes 'Dark Knight' Colo. theater shooting trial, Aurora, Colorado
CENTENNIAL, CO - APRIL 27: Family members of Aurora Theater shooting victim Veronica Moser walk into the Arapahoe County Justice Center as opening arguments for the trial of Aurora Theater Shooting defendant James Holmes opened at the courthouse April 27, 2015 in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes faces multiple murder charges stemming from a mass shooting in July 2012 theater shooting that killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
CENTENNIAL, CO - APRIL 27: Members of the media film people walking into the Arapahoe County Justice Center as opening arguments for the trial of Aurora Theater Shooting defendant James Holmes opened at the courthouse April 27, 2015 in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes faces multiple murder charges stemming from a mass shooting in July 2012 theater shooting that killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
CENTENNIAL, CO - APRIL 27: Producers at Denver Post TV listen and take notes from the courtroom live feed of proceedings as opening arguments for the trial of Aurora Theater Shooting defendant James Holmes opened at the Arapahoe County Justice Center April 27, 2015 in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes faces multiple murder charges stemming from a mass shooting in July 2012 theater shooting that killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others. Holmes is seated at the very far left of the television screen. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
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But after one plaintiff rejected the settlement offer, the remaining plaintiffs were left with no acknowledgment of liability from Cinemark, no guarantees of improved theater safety, and a colossal bill for the company's litigation costs.

"Theaters aren't any safer," Weaver said. "We all knew they were liable. We knew they were at fault."

Weaver also said he had been approached by a federal magistrate judge who likened the failed case to the slow pace of the civil rights movement.

"It was the biggest smack in the face," Weaver said. "He was basically telling us, you're right, they're basically at fault, but there's justice and then there's true justice."

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SEE ALSO: Cinemark wants Colorado theater shooting victims to pay $700,000 in legal fees


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