AURORA, Colo. — With the stroke of a Colorado District Court judge's pen, most of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting victims are off the hook for nearly $700,000 in legal fees.
Families of victims who filed a Colorado lawsuit against Cinemark, the company that operates the Aurora theater in which 12 were slain and 70 injured by assailant James Holmes, lost a jury trial in May that claimed the theater chain was responsible for the shooting because of a lack of security.
After losing the jury trial, Cinemark filed a successful action requiring the families, who were all victims of the deadliest mass shooting in the state since 1999, to pay $700,000 in legal fees.
Those families could no longer be on the hook, according to legal analysts at RechtKornfield. Documents filed in Colorado courts waive the need to pay legal fees, so long as victims waive their rights to appeal.
A judge approved the stipulation, filed Wednesday at 3 p.m., just hours after it was submitted.
All the families have not yet agreed to the stipulation, however, but that won't hamper this deal like it would a settlement. Families will have 14 days to withdraw appeals, or notices to appeal, before further action.
Should any victims not agree to the stipulation, they will still be on the line for the $700,000 Cinemark spent to defend itself against in Colorado alone against the victims.
In the criminal case, Holmes was found guilty and is serving multiple life sentences after a different group of jurors failed to agree on whether he should receive the death penalty.