Nearly four years ago on July 20, 2012, an Aurora, Colo. movie theater was the site of what was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history until recently being eclipsed by the tragedy in Orlando.
12 people were killed and 70 others were injured that night. The shooting helped ignite the country’s now fully inflamed gun control debate and raised questions about what additional security measures movie theaters needed, a need further bolstered after a similar shooting in a Louisiana theater last year killed two and injured nine.
In addition, several of the Aurora shooting victims and their families filed a class action lawsuit against the Cinemark theater chain for lapses in security measures, like a lack of security guards and a need for alarms on the emergency exit doors the shooter used.
Cinemark was ruled not liable for the shooting by a jury last month, and in accordance with state law, the theater chain is asking the losing side of the case to pay for its legal fees.
The Denver Post reports that the nationally distributed chain is asking these shooting victims for nearly $700,000 in court costs. A judge will ultimately decide the final costs and whether or not the plaintiffs must pay.
However, Cinemark can also claim even more from the victims, after a similar case was dismissed by a judge in federal court.
If a judge finalizes the court costs claim, only 15 of the original 42 plaintiffs will have to incur the costs, as 27 of them settled out of the case for fear of facing the legal fees.
“Personally, I just want safety, I didn’t want the financial burden,” said Marcus Weaver, a survivor of the shooting who settled, to the Post.