Members of the Florida Highway Patrol block Orange Avenue while other law enforcement officials take assessment near the Pulse Orlando nightclub on Monday, June 13, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. Pulse Orlando was the scene of a mass fatal shooting early Sunday morning. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara).
Attorney Marc Bern spoke with law.com about prospective lawsuits
Law.com: Is there the potential for lawsuits here?
Marc Bern: In the event that after an investigation we determine that there was something that could have been done or should have been done by the nightclub, certainly a civil suit would be warranted. In the event they are culpable, that would be a tragedy in and of itself.
Law.com: Could the nightclub have done more to protect patrons?
Marc Bern: I know there is a large LGBT community in Orlando, but I think that just because of that, and knowing what we know about radical Islamic groups—that there is very little tolerance for the gay community—there has to be extra vigilance. I’m not saying there wasn’t, because I don’t know. I do know that there was an armed security guard. That’s different than Aurora. Short of the guy calling up ahead of time and saying, I’m going to come and kill 50 people, they may have done everything that was required, although I don’t know.
Law.com: What’s different about this case versus Aurora?
Marc Bern: Apparently there was a security guard there with a gun. Here, when the security guard started shooting, from the reports I heard, that’s when the guy tried to flee the building, and ultimately he was killed in a shoot-out, which did not happen in Aurora. Aurora is different because for all intents and purposes the shooter walked out when his gun misfired, and he calmly gave himself up. This was clearly going to be, and was, a suicide by cop.
Law.com: Despite the defense verdict, you believe Cinemark was liable for the Aurora shooting. Why?
Marc Bern: It was a pure lack of security. There were adequate warnings to get over the hurdle of whether or not the incident was foreseeable. For instance, the shooter scoped out the theater on numerous occasions, and because the theater failed to have perimeter cameras around the outside of the building, nobody ever saw this guy photographing various stores late at night, when people would be suspicious.
Law.com: Do you think you’ll file a case over the Orlando shooting?
Marc Bern: If somebody contacted me, I would really want to investigate it. I think it’s a tragedy beyond belief.