| DENVER, Sept 13
DENVER, Sept 13 The movie theater chain that
owns a Colorado cinema where 12 people were killed in a 2012
shooting spree will not pursue $700,000 in legal costs the
company incurred fighting an unsuccessful lawsuit, court records
showed on Tuesday.
More than two dozen surviving victims and relatives of those
killed sued Cinemark USA Inc in state court, accusing the
company of lax security measures that made the theater chain
partially responsible for the bloodshed.
In May, a jury found Cinemark was not liable for the July
20, 2012, rampage, agreeing with Cinemark lawyers who had argued
that the mass shooting was an unforeseeable tragedy carried out
by "a madman."
Gunman James Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity
to criminal charges stemming from the shooting.
He was convicted last year of murdering 12 people and
wounding 70 others when he opened fire during a screening of the
Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" inside the Century 16
Theater multiplex in Aurora, Colorado.
Jurors spared Holmes the death penalty sought by
prosecutors. He was sentenced to multiple life sentences without
the possibility of parole.
Under Colorado law, Cinemark was entitled to recover
"litigation costs," which are separate from attorney's fees,
since the chain prevailed in the civil lawsuit.
The company said in making the request it had spent nearly
$700,000 for expert witnesses and on other costs associated with
defending itself at trial.
However, Cinemark said in subsequent court filings it would
drop its request if the victims agreed not to appeal against the
jury's verdict. Both sides agreed on Tuesday, according to a
stipulated agreement filed in Arapahoe District Court.
Cinemark said in the agreement that its "goal has always
been to resolve this matter fully and completely without an
award of costs of any kind to any party."
The "case can now be deemed completely over," lawyers for
Texas-based Cinemark wrote. A judge must still sign off on the
deal, but that is expected to be a formality.
If the agreement is approved, it would bring to a close all
the state court claims against Cinemark over the shooting.
A federal lawsuit filed against Cinemark by a separate set
of victims was dismissed by a judge following the verdict in the
state case, although appeals of that ruling have not been
(Editing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Paul Tait)