Trampling at Movie Theater Leads to $1.7 Million Verdict for Haggard Law Client
Jury agrees that Regal Cinemas could have prevented incident during screening of Dark Knight movie
Miami Beach, FL – A Miami-Dade County jury has awarded 34 year old Maria Navas $1.7 million for the permanent injury she suffered when she was trampled by theater goers frantically trying to escape an altercation in a Miami Beach theater only days after a mass shooting at a movie theater in Colorado.
On July 31st , 2012 Navas was on a first date in the Regal Cinemas Theaters at 1120 Lincoln Road. Navas and her date were watching the Dark Knight Rises movie when two men began arguing. One of them, David Escamillo, walked out of the theater for a short time and returned wearing black gloves. As he pursued the man he was previously arguing with, witnesses report he paced up and down the steps of the theater mumbling and grunting for 10 minutes before he yelled “this is it”. Chaos ensued as patrons began running out of the theater. Navas was trampled by the frantic crowd. She suffered a significant fracture of her right foot that required two surgeries to place 18 pieces of hardware (plates & screws) in her foot. The once active woman is now limited in what she can do.
Jason Brenner and Douglas McCarron of the Haggard Law Firm (www.haggardlawfirm.com), who represented Navas in this case, argued that the trampling incident was preventable, especially in light of the sensitivity every American had to movie theater violence at that time. Only 11 days before the incident in Miami Beach, a gunman walked into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado during a screening of the same movie, Dark Knight Rises, and began shooting patrons. 12 people were killed and more than 70 others were injured.
The attorneys said theater staff in Miami Beach did nothing to diffuse the initial argument between Escamillo and the movie patron. The staff also did not prevent Escamillo from returning when he initially left the theater which eventually lead to the mass exodus that caused Navas’ injuries. Considering what had recently occurred in Colorado, the theater should have taken heightened security measures.
Navas hopes this verdict will make movie theaters take note of their responsibility to protect patrons by taking actionable steps to ensure safety of every patron
The Haggard Law Firm, P.A. represents the rights of people seriously injured through the fault of others. We are passionately committed to our clients and stress the highest level of personal service, professionalism and case preparation. It is our top priority to develop and maintain a sound attorney/client relationship founded on mutual honesty, trust and teamwork providing the best results for our clients.