A move by the Cinemark theater chain has sparked outrage, along with a boycott movement on social media. The backlash comes in response to the company’s effort to get victims of the 2012 theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., to pay $700,000 in legal fees stemming from a lawsuit against the theater chain.
The legal move by Cinemark comes after the victims unsuccessfully sued the chain, accusing it of not doing enough to prevent the deadly attack.
“Jurors in May ruled in Cinemark’s favor over 28 victims and their families who argued the nation’s third-largest theater chain should have done more to prevent the attack that killed 12 people and left more than 70 others injured,” the AP reports. “They sued in state court, saying security lapses allowed for the July 20, 2012 attack at a midnight premiere of a Batman film.”
The report adds: “The company’s lawyers told a judge they need the money to cover the costs of preserving evidence, retrieving and copying records, travel and other expenses, according to court documents filed this month. A judge didn’t immediately rule on the request. But Colorado courts allow the winning side of a court case to recover legal fees.”
Deadline.com notes: “The move by Cinemark has not only created anger in the social media universe, but the story’s headlines have been picked up by news outlets nationwide. Among othe 30 victims that Cinemark wants legal fees from include two families whose sons heroically saved others in the theater, a woman who had to hold her own intestines in after being shot, and a boy who was shot in the head.”
The hashtag #BoycottCinemark has blown up on social media. Deadline notes that California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom was among those commenting. Newsom sent out a tweet Thursday night saying: “Shameful! #BoycottCinemark —-> @Cinemark attorneys want Aurora shooting victims to cover $700k in legal fees http://ti.me/29bHNf1.”
Another Twitter user wrote: “So who at @Cinemark gets to hand the family of the 6-year-old who was murdered in their theater the bill for this??”
Still another tweeted: “@Cinemark With all the money you morons make, you need to sue VICTIMS of a mass shooting to make more? Unbelievable #BoycottCinemark.”
Deadline adds: “News of Cinemark’s recent filing for legal fees comes in the wake of its recent quarterly earnings in which it reported revenue of $704.9 million.”