Going to movie theaters is a common pastime for millions of people worldwide. It’s a chance to escape reality for a few hours and immerse oneself in a world of fantasy, romance, or action. Unfortunately, it’s also a place where tragedy can strike. In recent years, we’ve seen several incidents of wrongful death in movie theaters, which have left families shattered and communities in shock. In this blog, we’ll explore this issue and what can be done to prevent such incidents.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a legal term that refers to a death caused by the negligence of another person or entity. It can be the result of a car accident, medical malpractice, product defect, or any other type of situation where someone’s actions or inactions cause the death of another person. In the context of movie theaters, wrongful death can occur due to a variety of factors, for example:
- Inadequate security
- Faulty equipment
- Inadequate staff training
Recent Incidents of Wrongful Death in Movie Theaters
In 2012, a shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, left 12 people dead and 70 injured. The shooter, James Holmes, opened fire during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises. The incident sparked a national conversation about gun control and security in public places.
In 2016, a man in Louisiana opened fire in a movie theater, killing two people and injuring nine others. The shooter, John Russell Houser, had a history of mental illness and had been denied a gun permit in his home state of Alabama.
In 2018, a man in Missouri died because of a reclining movie theater seat. The victim, Ronia Burgess, was watching a movie with her husband when she became trapped in the seat. She suffocated to death while her husband frantically tried to free her.
Preventing Wrongful Death in Movie Theaters
Movie theaters have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for their patrons. This includes adequate security measures, such as metal detectors, bag checks, and trained security personnel. It also includes proper maintenance of equipment, such as seats and screens, and staff training on emergency procedures.
Here are some ways to prevent wrongful death in movie theaters:
- Install Metal Detectors and Bag Checks. Metal detectors and bag checks are effective ways to prevent weapons from entering movie theaters. They can help deter potential shooters and give patrons peace of mind that they are in a safe environment.
- Train Staff on Emergency Procedures. Movie theater staff should be trained on emergency procedures, such as how to respond to an active shooter or medical emergency. This training should be ongoing and updated regularly.
- Regular Maintenance of Equipment. Movie theater seats, screens, and other equipment should be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure they are in good working order. This can prevent accidents such as the one that occurred in Missouri.
- Increase Security Presence. Having trained security personnel present in movie theaters can deter potential shooters and provide a rapid response in the event of an emergency. This can include off-duty police officers or private security firms.
- Provide Mental Health Resources. Movie theaters can provide resources for patrons who may be struggling with mental health issues, such as counseling services or hotlines. This can help prevent incidents such as the one that occurred in Louisiana.
Contact Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have suffered from wrongful death in a movie theater, it’s important to know that you have legal options. At KAASS LAW, our experienced attorneys have helped countless clients hold movie theaters accountable for their negligence and secure compensation for their losses. Therefore, we understand the devastating impact that wrongful death can have on families and are committed to fighting for your rights. Call us at 310-933-5171 now or visit the website for other practices!