Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP, a New York-based law firm settled claims for more than 10,000 first responders in the 9/11 tragedy and is now representing nine victims in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. The survivors are alleging negligence and a lack of sufficient security on behalf of Cinemark and the Century 16 Theater where the event occurred. Though it is the seventh lawsuit filed regarding the horrific July 20 events, it is unique in that its the first to specifically name employees. These employees include the owner, general manager, and manager of the theater. The nine victims are seeking millions of dollars in damages.
The lawsuit also claims that the theater had been the site of previous shootings, robberies, and assaults, deeming it an exceptionally threatening location and having been in need of heightened security. However, it fails to to mention specific examples of said events. Cinemark, which has since denied these claims, argues that the lawsuits filed against them imply that they “should have known” that an attack would take place.
In a day and age where it seems everyone is suing everybody else, I find lawsuits such as these to be particularly disturbing. I understand the motive; if I were a victim of a tragedy I would probably seek compensation for the trauma I’ve be subjected to as well. But to assert that anyone other than the crazed maniac who wielded assault rifles is at fault for such an event seems irresponsible. Is it not right to assume that the Century 16 owner, general manager, and manager are experiencing grief as well?