Aurora Century 16 Theatre Shootings: Lawsuits Based on Historical Legal Rule
Mistaken Views on the Internet
Every time a lawsuit is filed against the Aurora Century 16 Theater there are negative comments about that lawsuit posted around the Internet. A lot of the people making negative comments mistakenly argue that the lawsuits are based in some “brand new” or novel theory of law that was brought here from California in the last six months. This is far from the truth.
An Old and Simple Theory Behind the Lawsuits
Most of the lawsuits that have been filed in this matter use a very old and simple theory: When a business owner invites you in to do business with them, and you do business with them, then the business owner has a duty to the customers to make the business premises safe from known, possible harms.
This rule has been on the books in Colorado (and the United States) for nearly 50 years.
Additionally, if someone was hurt on the business owner’s premises, even by the act of a third party, then the business owner has a duty to protect the customer in the future from similar harm from third parties. These third parties can be purse snatchers, armed robbers, and auto thieves. The lawsuits filed on behalf of the people at the Aurora Century 16 Theatre argue that it is located in a neighborhood that has a history of robbery, purse snatching, fights gang violence, and other scary acts. They’re right.
1987 Case: Taco Bell v Lannon
In Taco Bell v. Lannon, a Colorado case decided in 1987, our Colorado appeals court said that when considering whether or not it is reasonable to sue a business (like the movie theater) we need to ask only if the business owner knew or should have known about the lack of security on the premises. If they knew, or should have known, then they have a duty to protect the patron. Another way of saying this is when someone operates a business in a neighborhood where there is a lot of crime, then the businessperson assumes responsibility for the safety of those who come to that “sketchy” neighborhood to do business with him or her.
How Business Owners Safeguard Patrons
Taking good care of customers includes applying such safeguards as:
- Alarm systems
- Good lighting in parking lots
- Video cameras
- Safe evacuation policies.
Aurora Century 16 Theatre: A Violent Crime Neighborhood
It is no surprise to anyone, such as myself, who visited the area around Century 16 Theatre in the past several decades that it is a region where there is a lot of violent crime.
The business owner (theater) knew that. Yet, they did little or nothing to prevent that, and that inaction led to a big problem in July 2012. Taking good care of customers isn’t some fancy idea that just arrived from California. Taking care of customers is good business, and the right thing to do.
Colorado personal injury attorney Shaun Kaufman prides himself on research, writing and staying on top of new and old legal ideas.
Shaun Kaufman Law represents several persons in district court against Century Theaters. You are invited to discuss your injury case with an experienced trial and litigation attorney from Shaun Kaufman Law by calling 303-309-0430 any day of the week, holidays included, or by filling out the contact form on the right side of this screen.
How Can We Help You?Call Shaun Kaufman Law at 303-309-0430. We are happy to offer a free, initial phone consultation regarding your case.
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