Federal court extends filing deadline for Cinemark in Colorado movie theater shooting lawsuit


The Cinemark-operated Century 16 movieplex in Aurora, a Denver suburb, was the scene of a mass shooting in July 2012 and has been remodeled as the Century Aurora 16. (Photo: Karl Gehring / Denver Post )

An order granted Monday extends Cinemark’s “bill of costs” filing deadline in the company’s ongoing legal battle with victims of the Colorado movie theater shooting for another month, federal court filings show.

Judge Michael E. Hegarty issued the order Monday, giving Cinemark until Oct. 17 to file an explanation of legal fees it wants the remaining victims on the lawsuit to reimburse.

Cinemark owns the Century Aurora 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, where in July 2012 a lone gunman opened fire at a midnight showing of “The Dark Night Rises,” killing 12 people and wounding 70 others.

Two months later, some 60 surviving victims sued Cinemark — in both state and federal court — for sub par security measures they allege enabled the attack.

In May, a civil jury in state court decided in favor of the movie theater chain, calling the shooting “an unforeseeable tragedy.”

U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson likewise dismissed the federal lawsuit in June, saying the security flaws weren’t substantial enough to bring the case to trial, The Denver Post reports.

Colorado state law permits the winning party can recoup the legal costs of the suit. Last week, Cinemark dropped its request in state court for victims to pay back $700,000 in legal fees.

Jackson granted a motion Monday to dismiss three plaintiffs — Chantel L. Blunk, Maximus T. Blunk, and Hailey M. Blunk — from the case, stipulating the victims pay their own legal fees.

The Denver Post reported last month other victims settled with Cinemark to avoid incurring more legal costs. Court filings show only four remain involved in the case: Joshua Nowlan, Ashley Moser, Stefan Moton and Nick Gallup.

A similar case unfolded last year in federal court when a Colorado judge ordered the parents of one of the 12 people killed in the attack reimburse Lucky Gunner, an online retailer, $200,000 in legal fees. The company sold the shooter ammunition and equipment used in the attack.

Lucky Gunner then donated the reimbursed funds to the National Rifle Association. The company explained since the lawsuit was designed to promote gun control policies and blamed it for the horrific incident when it followed the law, it would promote an organization that protects its existence.

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