The Century 16 movie theater is seen where a gunmen attacked moviegoers on July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colo.
Photographer: (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)
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AURORA, Colo. - Nine victims of the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting plan to sue Cinemark -- owner of the Century 16 theater where the July 20 deadly shootings occurred -- and at least two theater employees.
Scripps station KMGH in Denver obtained a copy of the lawsuit ahead of a news conference to announce the lawsuit to be heard in Arapahoe County court.
Six previous lawsuits against Cinemark have been filed in federal court.
The new lawsuit is the only one to specifically name employees of Century 16. The general manager and the manager are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit seeks substantial punitive damages from Cinemark. If the victims were to win the lawsuit, Cinemark, and not the two employees specifically named, would be responsible for any damages.
A New York-based law firm is working with a Boulder law firm to sue Cinemark in state court. The New York firm, Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP, settled claims for more than 10,000 9/11 first responders.
This lawsuit alleges the theater chain posed an unreasonably dangerous risk to customers because it had been the site of shootings, robberies and assaults. The lawsuit does not provide specific examples.
The earlier federal lawsuits alleged that the theater had information of previous disturbances and criminal activity that had taken place near the theater during the evening hours.
The lawsuits also mention that the theater was known to hire off-duty police officers or added security on Friday and Saturday nights.
The July 20 shooting happened during a midnight showing of "The Dark Night Rises" on a Thursday night.
KMGH checked for previous violent crimes at or near the theater. In 2005, a shooting inside the Aurora Mall, as it was known, killed one and injured two. In 2001, another shooting injured two.
In September, three people wounded in the Colorado theater shootings filed lawsuits that allege the exit door the gunman used to enter the building should have had an alarm. The lawsuits were filed against Cinemark USA Inc., which plans to refurbish and reconfigure the theater and have it ready to open by the beginning of 2013.
Victims of the theater shooting are expected to be at a 2 p.m. MST Tuesday news conference outside the theater to discuss this lawsuit. The conference is at noon EST.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.