First Lawsuit Over Colorado Shooting Has Arrived

The inevitable first lawsuit over the tragic shooting at a Colorado movie theater last Friday has come to life.

12 died and 59 others were injured when James Holmes (pictured above in his mugshot) entered the theater armed and opened fire on unsuspecting theater guests.

One of the survivors, Torrence Brown Jr. who was uninjured in the shootings but lost one of his best friends, A.J. Boik, who was shot in the chest, has filed a lawsuit in which he named three defendants, and claims to be suffering from extreme emotional trauma.

Brown has retained attorney Donald Karpel as his attorney. The lawsuit includes the following three defendants:

    • Warner Bros., the studio that was behind the “The Dark Knight Rises” (it also owns DC Comics; Batman is a DC Comics character): Karpel said the the movie is especially violent, and that – based on evidence in the case – suspect James Holmes, 24, was fixated, perhaps obsessed with Batman characters. Additionally, moviegoers weren’t at first sure that the attack wasn’t part of the movie.
    • Century 16 Aurora, the movie theater: Karpel said that the theater was guilty of negligence because Holmes did not enter with theatergoers, but instead through a relatively insecure emergency door. Holmes propped it open and entered with an arsenal of weaponry.
    • Holmes’ physicians: This will have to be confirmed, but Karpel said that Holmes was on medication. It is, in fact true that reports have stated that Holmes was acting strangely during Monday’s court appearance. The lawsuit asserts that Holme’s failed to monitor their patient properly.
Many people are scoffing at the lawsuit, claiming that you can’t blame the studio who made the film based off violence, or the suspect’s doctors, who should not be liable for a patient who is deemed okay to be at home on his own outside of treatment.   However some claim that the theater suit could hold up, due to the insecure emergency exit door, that could have been equipped with an alarm.

Another criticism of the alleged suit is that most emotional distress lawsuits come several months, or even years after an occurrence, after a patient has sought help with a therapist or doctor to deal with the stress.  Not usually less than a week after an event.

What do you think?  Will any of these lawsuits hold up in court?
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