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ARC: SURGE IN PUBLIC VIOLENCE

Victim's family sues Cinemark for negligence in Aurora, Colo., shooting

Cinemark Century 16 Theater
Photo by AP Photo The family of a victim killed in the July theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., filed a lawsuit against Cinemark USA Inc., alleging the theater company's negligence in failing to provide adequate security and wrongful death.

The family of a victim killed in the July theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., filed a lawsuit against Cinemark USA Inc., alleging the theater company's negligence in failing to provide adequate security and wrongful death.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday mimics similar claims in two separate lawsuits filed in September, alleging that Cinemark did not provide adequate security to prevent the July 20 attack by suspect James Holmes, who allegedly killed 12 people and injured dozens after bursting into Cinemark's Century 16 theater in Aurora and opening fire during the premiere screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

The suit was filed by Dion Rosborough, Ryan Lumba, Tony Briscoe, and Jon Boik, the father of Alexander J. Boik, who was one of 12 killed during the attack.

Messrs. Rosborough and Lumba also were struck by gunfire while attempting to flee the auditorium, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado in Denver.

Allegations against Plano, Texas-based Cinemark, which owns and operates Century 16, include failure to provide adequate security personnel for the late-night screening, lack of security and monitoring systems for exterior doors and parking areas, and failure to properly train employees to monitor and respond to suspicious activity.

The suit also alleges that “as a direct and proximate result of defendant's negligence, Alexander J. Boik suffered traumatic physical and/or emotional and/or psychological injuries which resulted in his death,” according to the lawsuit.

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The shooting raises complex insurance coverage questions, as the company self-insures portions of liability coverage.

Cinemark on Sept. 27 filed a motion to dismiss the claims of the two previous lawsuits, alleging that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim and their premise that the theater company “should have known” Mr. Holmes would commit mass murder could not be foreseen, according to court documents.

Cinemark also claims that previous violent disturbances at the theater did not make the attack a foreseeable event.

“The linchpin of foreseeability is not prior instances of any crimes, but prior instances of crimes of this nature and type,” Cinemark said in its motion to dismiss.

The plaintiffs in the Wednesday lawsuit all seek unspecified damages for their injuries.

Cinemark did not immediately return calls for comment on this story.

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