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Aurora Theater Lawsuits: Wrongful Death Claims Can Move Forward

Calling it a "close call," a federal judge on Wednesday allowed victims to pursue wrongful death and liability claims against Cinemark, which owns the Colorado movie theater where 12 people were shot to death last summer.

U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson indicated that it wasn't an easy decision but said the 10 lawsuits pose questions of interpretation and application of law.

"I suspect that many people, despite overwhelming sympathy and grief for the victims of the Aurora theater shootings, might upon hearing about these lawsuits have had reactions like, 'How could a theater be expected to prevent something like this?' " Jackson wrote. "I confess that I am one of those people."

James Holmes has been charged with murders and attempted murder in criminal court. Ten separate civil lawsuits were filed against Cinemark USA, which responded by saying that it couldn't have foreseen a shocking criminal act.

Jackson dismissed a claim of negligence but let stand a claim of wrongful death and another claim filed under Colorado's Premises Liability Act.