First lawsuit filed in Colorado movie theater massacre
Legal panel weighs in on the case
- Duration 8:38
- Date Jul 25, 2012
Legal panel weighs in on the case
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Kelly -- back in session on the docket today the first lawsuit has now reportedly been filed in the Colorado moving massacre.
Eighteen year old torrents brown was not injured when the accused gunman James -- -- you were -- theater with bullets but his best friend was one of the twelve people killed.
Now brown is suing the movie theater the film studio behind the Dark Knight rises.
And the doctors believed to have treated and perhaps even medicated the shooting suspect before the attack this is the theory.
But can -- actually be held accountable for this.
Joining me now former prosecutor now defense attorney are bright -- up from the prosecutor now defense attorney John billboard.
John let me start with you how do you make the case let's start let's start with the movie theater that.
The guy wet that they he is believed to have come in with the rest of the moviegoers and the shooter got out the -- Propped it open I got his gear come back in the emergency exit and that is when the shooting occurred.
Of the three potential defendants the movie theater is.
Probably most going to be on the hook it would not going to be easy to collect damages for any of the -- however the movie theater if they could have reasonably force dean.
That day and that perhaps not having an alarm on the emergency door or -- Not having a camera on emergency door could lead to this type of damage -- -- -- be -- the -- -- not a 100% because the president really was.
-- believe the shooter we all know that that's -- that's a given -- James holt is the one who's responsible for this according to the authorities right but they could be partially responsible under -- theory of negligence that -- there was a case.
Look last year at theater Loews theater of Pittsburgh was found negligent by had a jury for faulty security after.
Fifty cents -- get -- -- -- Tryon was shown in a patron was shot and killed.
First of all the timing of this -- really.
-- now just so the people watching -- the statue limitations the amount of time a lawyer has to bring this lawsuit.
In almost any jurisdiction in the fifty states for it for what he's claiming extreme emotional disturbance.
-- years and years if I'm sure the -- did go through a take exactly but Wyden to what do you file the -- this week.
Why couldn't they -- and maybe it's hard for him he's well he's case to be a lot more strong.
If he was going to therapy -- are the longer he's suffering this disease that his illness from the -- actions.
The strongest case should be job number one I don't like that number to give me a break that the makers of the movie are liable give me a break.
Did you break that a Doctor Who diagnosed as somebody with some sort of mental issue.
Who gives him prozac where we don't know what the doctors not worried I wasn't doctor that correct that you.
We're gonna -- and those people lot of the doctor should be -- what -- Do -- and you come in and say listen I'm really depressed.
I in my ratings aren't so great on fox today and that is what we're gonna have to commit you ms.
Kelly sorry I don't we get a job there the public as you might blow somewhat of a bunch of people you get all the doctors -- And I think I just glad they cleared the viewers that so there was a report yesterday he was about the filed a lawsuit in these with a three potential defendants and now today -- a Reuters reports and a lawsuit has been filed I we haven't seen it ourselves we don't know for sure whether these -- the three defendants are we wound up suing.
But John -- let me ask you because the story of the doctors is interesting now in the wake of this foxnews.com exclusive report.
Talking about -- University of Colorado psychiatrist.
Who was mailed -- notebook by.
This shooter alleged shooter.
It had details about how he was going to kill people it had drawings of what he was going to do illustrations of the massacre.
Images in the spiral bound notebook with gun wielding stick figures blowing away other stick figures.
If this guy we don't know if it's true of a widened the shooter -- this psychiatrist who was at his university where -- study near us neuroscience which would have required.
And did require him to take mental health classes as part of his curriculum if he was being treated by that psychiatrist -- the man had reasonable Levy was dangerous.
Could -- get sued.
This opens up a whole other theory of liability and the short answer is he could get it.
There's a case along time ago called -- offers is a university California regions and that says normally we have it's a non disclosure agreement between the doctors and patients there's privilege there everything you say your doctors confidential.
On -- You are going to commit harm imminently to somebody else then your doctor has a duty to warn the person you intend to -- This guy sends basically his script for what is going to do that night an interesting thing about it is.
It could it wasn't open to -- I didn't get it according to put the dot -- didn't get paddy not and it he would of had a duty to avoid the harm but we don't.
No -- even saw that thing bag and that's very and no we don't think he did see that they we think it was sitting in the mail room -- until the police.
What happened was that dot -- psychiatrist got.
-- package this week and he said this might be from James -- this is according to the reporting.
And he called in the police and they started to look at it and they took it someplace and they decided it wasn't from him.
But then they said wait we should investigate all the packages in the mail -- and then they did find one from this guy who -- psychiatrist.
Which you know why it turns out to be to know but our third that may suggest.
And why did they look for that that maybe there was a relationship between the shooter in the psychiatrist.
-- the police know about but we don't thirty seconds never gonna continue it's obvious that a.
But even even if there was a relationship.
There is a big stretch.
From a doctor saying while this is -- troubled young man to the doctors imagination.
Going in the direction of what actually happened because we're admitting he never -- well -- the doctor never have an all.
But even if he had counseling sessions I mean -- a -- to -- -- -- if you're told in a session that somebody's gonna do they have to come and go pick that up after the break.
So again according to foxnews.com the intended recipient of this notebook was a professor who had also treated patients at the psychiatry outpatient facility at the building.
And it could not be verified that he had previous contacts with the shooter but the only question is whether in any therapy session we don't know what this guy had any therapy sessions with the shooter.
But in any therapy session of the patient says to a doctor I wanna go and kill a bunch of people in the movie theater John -- And the psychiatrist does not report that can -- -- liability.
Absolutely and there was -- in the previous case the -- -- what happened there there -- the case of unrequited Bob the guy who I was getting.
That friendship from a woman that he was interested in went to hitch his psychiatrist and said I'm going to Eleanor.
He had -- committed three days later the guy was let out never warned the girl or her parents she ended up -- he was on the hook for that the very same thing could happen here I -- talking about that -- lawsuit against.
Again an and that looking at the Reuters report they are citing the Christian post as saying that it has been filed.
And that indeed these are the defendants these three groups are through the question about Warner Bros.
There was a lawsuits.
In 1997 against Oliver Stone and Time Warner.
And they were the producers of natural born killers remember that movie -- and it was by convenience store owner who claims she was shot and paralyzed by a couple that was intent on violence.
After watching that movie.
That lawsuit was.
Thrown out but thank you I mean as he should be you we can't have those kinds of standards and our society mega otherwise.
We we have we got the sees fit to function I mean.
If it doesn't make sense.
There are so many worse things that you see on television and the movies.
To hold them I have I anticipate the same exact thing is gonna happen here if -- of the judges is going to be sorry.
They didn't that's it is going to be a connection.
Between the damage and it did -- defended and you can't -- because that movie was playing that's what happened only because of that.
And on the subject of the movie theater as as it is you were saying John -- perhaps the most vulnerable of the three groups sued.
He has to show that the victims have to show that this was foreseeable.
That not how -- they gonna show that.
Yet they have to prove that it was reasonably foreseeable and that's going to be the toughest -- here obviously.
You might expect somebody to sneak in -- back door to avoid paying for the movie what to do something -- -- perhaps you know to try to set fire to to the theater -- you're not expect -- they -- in with an arsenal and starts shooting people up.
That's going to be a problem for the plane that night -- takes would you judge a quick in that door had an alarm on it like we don't hear the fox building when you push and it created rings -- We got to -- meant that whole incident may not have taken place we'll see I gotta run now they give us -- much we'll be right back.