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Old August 31, 2016, 09:21 PM   #1
Double Naught Spy
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Rulings In Cinemark Theater Aurora, CO Shooting Case

We have had repeated threads here on TFL where people say the victims should sue businesses when they have been disarmed (often described as being rendered 'defenseless') by gun free zones and have been hurt/killed. Sometimes the attitude has been to try to financially harm the businesses into giving up their rights a to allow people to carry. While Tennessee has made from carry-friendly law changes holding businesses more responsible, the other 49 states and US territories have not.

So what happens if you are in a shooting in Colorado and want to hold the business responsible? It may cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars if you lose. That is what has happened for at least 4 plaintiffs who decided to press their civil case against Cinemark, even after being told they should reconsider by the judge after another case against Cinemark had been ruled that Cinemark could not have foreseen the shooting and therefore was not responsible. Long story short, of the 41 plaintiffs in the case, 4 decided to pursue it and 4 are now left holding the bag, losing the case for which Cinemark has the right to recover lost legal fees as the winner of the suit.

http://theweek.com/speedreads/646024...-theater-chain
http://www.businessinsider.com/auror...-naught-2016-8
http://www.denverpost.com/2016/06/30...ms-legal-fees/

Mind you, these cases were not for the purpose of forcing Cinemark to allow concealed carry. These were simply for there being a safer environment via means such as security guards, door alarms, etc.
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Old September 1, 2016, 06:40 PM   #2
Tom Servo
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So, another reckless nuisance lawsuit has predictably failed, and the legal firm who brought it is leaving the plaintiffs holding the bag.

Gee, why does that sound familiar?

The attorneys bringing these cases should be sanctioned, if not charged with fraud. After the 1984 McDonald's shooting in San Ysidro, the court ruled quite clearly that the proprietor could not be reasonably expected to anticipate something like this. Had the attorneys done any research, they would have known this.
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Old September 1, 2016, 08:17 PM   #3
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Exactly. However we regularly have people who think a lawsuit is in order as something of a knee-jerk reaction to a business' gun policies. The suggestion comes up regularly. So this was a timely reminder of the difficulty of winning such a case and in some cases, the significant personal ramifications of a loss.
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Old September 2, 2016, 07:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
After the 1984 McDonald's shooting in San Ysidro, the court ruled quite clearly that the proprietor could not be reasonably expected to anticipate something like this.
I think it would be unreasonable for McDonald's to anticipate this particular shooting but completely reasonable for them to know that these shootings can and do happen. The bigger question is what responsibility do businesses have for the safety of their customers/employees when they declare themselves a "gun free" zone?
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Old September 2, 2016, 09:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
I think it would be unreasonable for McDonald's to anticipate this particular shooting but completely reasonable for them to know that these shootings can and do happen.
That could set up a very dangerous precedent. Yes, shootings can happen, but what is the statistical likelihood they'll happen in my place of business? If a jury finds I have to make preparations for something this unlikely, where does it end? Am I responsible for not having a tornado shelter adjoining the building? A fallout shelter? Where does it end?

Yeah, I get that "gun-free zones" are a problem, but this is not the avenue for solving that.
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Old September 2, 2016, 10:50 AM   #6
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^^^ 100% Agreed.

Although I have no statistics to back this up, I'm confident that far more movie theater, restaurant, and retail patrons are killed each year in vehicle-pedestrian parking-lot accidents than in shootings inside buildings. Should landlords be required to erect guardrails, install flashing-light crosswalk signals, or ban cars and trucks altogether?

We don't prohibit ice cream parlors near airports because of vanishingly unlikely tragedies such as this.

Recognize that this is a major slippery slope.
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Old September 2, 2016, 11:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATN082268
I think it would be unreasonable for McDonald's to anticipate this particular shooting but completely reasonable for them to know that these shootings can and do happen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
That could set up a very dangerous precedent. Yes, shootings can happen, but what is the statistical likelihood they'll happen in my place of business? If a jury finds I have to make preparations for something this unlikely, where does it end? Am I responsible for not having a tornado shelter adjoining the building? A fallout shelter? Where does it end?

Yeah, I get that "gun-free zones" are a problem, but this is not the avenue for solving that.

Either a major corporation like McDonalds can argue that they have never heard of any kind of shooting at a place of business or they know it can and does happen. Knowing about something and being responsible for it are two wholly different things. Denying something which is obvious, in a weak attempt to avoid responsibility, only makes one look foolish.
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Old September 2, 2016, 11:40 AM   #8
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I think we need to differentiate between our argument and the argument of the plaintiffs in the Aurora case. They didn't sue because they were unarmed due to Cinemark's "No guns" policy and thus could not protect themselves. They sued (effectively) because Cinemark didn't provide armed security to protect them.Yes, I understand that the argument is "If you're going to disarm me then it's your responsibility to protect me." In fact, I agree with that argument.

But that was not the argument of the Aurora plaintiffs.
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Old September 2, 2016, 11:51 AM   #9
zincwarrior
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Quote:
So, another reckless nuisance lawsuit has predictably failed, and the legal firm who brought it is leaving the plaintiffs holding the bag.

Gee, why does that sound familiar?

The attorneys bringing these cases should be sanctioned, if not charged with fraud. After the 1984 McDonald's shooting in San Ysidro, the court ruled quite clearly that the proprietor could not be reasonably expected to anticipate something like this. Had the attorneys done any research, they would have known this.
I am sure they were looking for a settlement payday.
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Old September 2, 2016, 01:06 PM   #10
Double Naught Spy
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Quote:
Either a major corporation like McDonalds can argue that they have never heard of any kind of shooting at a place of business or they know it can and does happen. Knowing about something and being responsible for it are two wholly different things. Denying something which is obvious, in a weak attempt to avoid responsibility, only makes one look foolish.
Which is specifically why people suing because of there not being enough security or for going into a place where they were not armed makes them look really foolish.

Just because you go into somebody else's business does not mean that the business assumes all responsibility for your safety against illegal acts.

Quote:
I think we need to differentiate between our argument and the argument of the plaintiffs in the Aurora case. They didn't sue because they were unarmed due to Cinemark's "No guns" policy and thus could not protect themselves. They sued (effectively) because Cinemark didn't provide armed security to protect them.Yes, I understand that the argument is "If you're going to disarm me then it's your responsibility to protect me." In fact, I agree with that argument.

But that was not the argument of the Aurora plaintiffs.
Nope, and that was covered above. However, the same logic of the suit applies. The business is not liable for such acts. This is why such suits are usually doomed to failure.
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