Cinemark USA, headquartered in Plano, Texas, has been named in a lawsuit filed by some of the victims of the July 20, 2012 shootings that took place at one of their theaters in Aurora, Colorado. These shootings were big news, with 12 people having lost their lives and 58 other people having been injured by a shooter who managed to get into the theater with weaponry. The shooting took place during what was slated to be the midnight premiere of the new Batman movie.
Cinemark has requested that the lawsuit be dismissed and that it would be unfair for the company to have been expected to have foreseen the shooting. While this particular case is obviously going to be a high-profile one due to the circumstances and the already infamous shootings, it does speak to the question of a premise owner’s liability when they do not provide adequate security in certain situations.
Most of the time, if you read about premise liability lawsuits, they have to do with things like slip and fall injuries on dangerous flooring, people being injured by products left out in the middle of a high-traffic area and so forth. Security, however, is another area where premise owners are sometimes held liable for injuries and deaths that are suffered at their establishment.
One example of this that has happened many times involves concerts. There have been concerts where people have been trampled to death due to crowds getting out of hand and where people have been burned to death due to pyrotechnics misfiring and creating fire hazards.
Some establishments have a need for security that should be obvious to any reasonable person. For example, bars typically have bouncers because it is a given that some people are going to become violent or aggressive after having had too much to drink and, therefore, the bar provides for its patron’s safety by having qualified security people on hand to deal with the situation.
Premise liability lawsuits can be very complex and require a good lawyer to argue successfully. There are certain situations where you will want to consider speaking to an attorney about filing such a lawsuit in cases where the premise owner’s liability is not as obvious as it would be if you had slipped and fell on their floor and injured yourself.
Talking to an Attorney
A qualified personal injury attorney is the only person who can really give you advice on whether or not you should file a lawsuit for premise liability. If you were injured or somebody in your family died, however, because a property owner was negligent in providing adequate security for an event, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.