9 Aurora theater shooting victims to sue Century 16 owner, Cinemark, and two managers

Lawsuit: Theater had prior violent crimes

AURORA, Colo. - Nine victims of the Aurora theater shooting plan to sue Cinemark, owner of the Century 16 theater, and at least two theater employees.

7NEWS obtained a copy of the lawsuit one day ahead of a news conference to announce the lawsuit to be heard in Arapahoe County court.

Six previous lawsuits against Cinemark have been filed in federal court.

The new lawsuit is the only one to specifically name employees of Century 16. The general manager and the manager are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks substantial punitive damages from Cinemark. If the victims were to win the lawsuit, Cinemark, and not the two employees specifically named, would be responsible for any damages.

A New York-based law firm is working with a Boulder law firm to sue Cinemark in state court. The New York firm, Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP, settled claims for more than 10,000 9/11 first responders.

This lawsuit alleges the theater chain posed an unreasonably dangerous risk to customers because it had been the site of shootings, robberies and assaults. The lawsuit does not provide specific examples.

The earlier federal lawsuits alleged that the theater had information of previous disturbances and criminal activity that had taken place near the theater during the evening hours.

The lawsuits also mention that the theater was known to hire off-duty police officers or added security on Friday and Saturday nights.

The July 20 shooting happened during a midnight showing of "The Dark Night Rises" on a Thursday night.

7NEWS checked for previous violent crimes at or near the theater.

In 2005, a shooting inside the Aurora Mall, as it was known, killed one and injured two.

In 2001, another shooting injured two.

Victims of the theater shooting are expected to be at a 2 p.m. Tuesday news conference outside the theater to discuss this lawsuit.

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