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Judge rules Aurora shooting survivors now owe Cinemark theaters $700,000 after lawsuit

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After losing their lawsuit, a group of survivors of the 2012 Aurora movie theater massacre were ordered to pay the Cinemark theater chain $700,000 in legal fees the theater claims it incurred.

You’ll recall the horrendous incident in July of 2012 when a single gunman loaded with firearms and smoke bombs entered the Cinemark theater in Aurora, Colorado, and gunned down 12 people and injured up to 70 more. The killer fashioned himself the embodiment of a character in the Batman movies.

Not long after the attack, a group of survivors of the massacre gathered together to sue the movie chain insisting the company was at fault for not having enough security to stop such an attack. But after a four-year battle, a judge decided the survivors had no case and ruled in favor of the theater chain.

Worse for the litigants, after losing the lawsuit the judge ordered the survivors and family members of victims to pay the $700,000 in legal fees incurred by the theater the L.A. Times said.

It isn’t as if the survivors weren’t warned. During the trial the judge urged the group to take a settlement offered by the theater chain and thereby avoid having to pay the theater’s legal fees.

According to court documents the group at first agreed to the $150,000 settlement. But the deal fell apart when one member of the group who lost her child and was left paralyzed from the attack rejected the offer. The rest then agreed to take a pass on the settlement.

Ultimately the victim group decided the offer was a “slap in the face.”

“Either seek justice and go into debt, or take that pitiful offering of money and the improved public safety,” said Marcus Weaver, one of the litigants who was wounded during the attack.

Weaver was discouraged after losing the lawsuit. “Theaters aren’t any safer,” he told the Times. “It’s almost like everything was for naught.”

So, Cinemark, the nation’s third largest theater chain, has now billed the survivors for up to $500,000 in costs incurred bringing in experts to testify on the theater’s behalf and another $200,000 in assorted costs and fees, the New York Daily News reports.

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