Cinemark agrees not to force Aurora theater shooting victims to pay legal fees

Posted at 5:24 PM, Sep 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-13 20:00:46-04

DENVER – Cinemark on Tuesday filed to drop its request for victims of the Aurora theater shooting that killed 12 and wounded 70 to reimburse the company for almost $700,000 in legal fees it originally sought after a legal victory.

The proposed motions were signed off on by lawyers for Cinemark, which owns Century Aurora 16, and for the remaining victims who had yet to drop their appeals. An Arapahoe County District Court judge will still have to approve the motions.

The Texas-based theater chain was entitled to the fees after it won a civil lawsuit by victims of the shooting and their families saying the chain did not do enough to prepare for such a situation, but drew sharp criticism from the families and others for even being able to obtain fees from the family.

But the chain says it never actively sought fees, and in Tuesday’s state court filings said it was pleased “to resolve this matter fully and completely without an award of costs of any kind to any party.”

“[Cinemark] thank[s] the court for its efforts to help all parties reach this conclusion following the tragic events of July 20, 2012,” the chain’s attorneys wrote in a filing.

Cinemark won both federal and state court cases, but on Aug. 30 filed a motion waiving victims’ need to pay legal fees so long as they waived their rights to appeal.

Tuesday’s action came after remaining plaintiffs in the state case also decided to drop their appeals of the case in Arapahoe County District Court and with the Colorado Court of Appeals.

Attorneys for several of the other victims filed similar motions in federal court Tuesday seeking  to dismiss their appeals of the case should Cinemark agree not to seek fees.

The victims and their families in the cases will still be on the hook for their own costs and attorney’s fees, but all of the suits are likely to be soon settled entirely.


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