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Tragedy and a Sue Happy Nation

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Tragedy happens at the most unexpected times and places. We go to the airport to fly for business or vacations. We go to the mall for shopping. We go to a nightclub for a night of well earned frivolity. We go to a movie theater for entertainment.


Cinemark Logo

In 2012 there was a shooting at an Aurora, CO Cinemark movie theater. Twelve people dead and 79 hurt. No matter the death toll, or the number of people hurt, it’s a sad and tragic occasion. You don’t expect to be killed or hurt while enjoying a favorite pastime.

Tragedy leads to grief and grief leads to unwise decisions with words whispered in your ear. The victims and victims families sued Cinemark for not having enough security guards and other security measures. Ummmm.  I’ve gone to movie theaters plenty of times. There is usually one, maybe two at the most, cops there.  And that is if the newly released movie is violent. Finding Dory was not, hence, there were most likely no cops on duty.

The jury for this case found in Cinemarks favor, essentially stating that a movie theater is not a place that should need to be heavily guarded, therefore, ruling against those that chose not go with the out of court settlement that Cinemark offered.

How did Cinemark respond? According to KREM2, they are now suing those families for the cost they put out in legal fees.  This amount was just under $700,000.  Wait… What???  The company is suing these families that experienced tragedy and lost loved ones????  That’s insane!

Or is it?  In my opinion, I feel that we live in such a sue happy nation. You get into a little fender bender and you’re wearing a neck brace claiming whiplash. You go to work, see a puddle or a broken step, still step on it and claim workman compensation.  I’m not putting those down who’s accidents are valid, but, I’ve known people who’ve done this.

I went out with an old high school friend and she parked in a handicapped spot. She was allowed because she had a handicapped license plate. However, before we got to that parking lot, while we were at her house, she was perfectly fine. Only putting on her neck brace when we went out because she thought she was being watched by private investigators from an insurance company that she was suing. I was stunned. Call me naive, but, I didn’t know this was a thing! Needless to say, this friend is no longer a friend of mine. I don’t agree with that type of fraud.

So, the question remains. Is it insane to think that a company is suing its victims? Since it came to light with me, how sue happy people can be, even in tragic situations that couldn’t be controlled by a company, I’ve felt that it was a matter of time before a company fought back. Cinemark is doing just that.

They did offer a settlement out of court that some people took.  I’m not sure of the amount, but, I would assume it was enough to pay hospital costs, funeral costs and maybe a little extra as a sympathetic gesture. An apology to those families that this tragedy happened in their building. Others chose not to accept this settlement.

With all of this said, I will state, I DO NOT AGREE with Cinemark suing these families. But, I’m not surprised. Reading the news articles that I have, they state that Cinemark may not expect their lawsuit to garner the funds back, but, is more of a play in case an appeal is filed on behalf of the victims and their families. Cinemark has the card of, you don’t appeal and we won’t expect you to pay our legal fees when the court and judge rule in our favor.

So, while I may not agree with it, can I see why they’re doing it?  Absolutely.

Have you or anyone you know ever experienced a lawsuit with a huge company like this? What are your thoughts on this?

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