Experts: Lawsuits Over Theater Shooting Stand Little Chance

Victims Have To Show Pattern Of Crime Occuring On Business Premises, Denver Post Reports

Survivors of the Aurora movie theater shootings, and the families of those killed, would have little chance if they sue the theater owner or others, legal experts say.

"The only obvious civil defendant is the shooter himself, and I doubt that he has anything in the way of assets or insurance," Tom Russell, a professor of law at the University of Denver and a personal injury lawyer, told the Denver Post.

Russell told the newspaper this hasn't stopped speculation about whether there will be lawsuits against the Cinemark Holdings-owned theater, where James Eagan Holmes is accused of shooting and otherwise injuring 70 people, leaving 12 dead.

Russell and other legal experts say plaintiffs would have to show that the theater should have foreseen that the shootings could have taken place.

"Did the movie theater know or have reason to know that some kind of violent crime might affect their patrons?" Russell told the Post. "It's beyond belief that they would know this kind of attack was coming."

Russell said that in cases where courts have held businesses liable for crime on their premises, plaintiffs have demonstrated a pattern existed, for example, repeated robberies at the business or assaults in its parking lot, the newspaper reported.

Read the entire Post story at

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