Torrence Brown, Jr. was one of the audience members who survived when suspected shooter James Holmes went on a mass murder spree at the Century 15 Theater in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Now, Torrence plans to sue for his tramatic experience.
Torrence’s friend A.J. Boik died in the tragedy, and Torrence claims to now suffer from extreme trauma.
Torrence has hired Beverly Hills based attorney Donald Karpel who specializes in professional liability, class actions, personal injury and catastrophic injury cases. The plan is to sue three defendants: the theater, Holmes’ doctors, and Warner Bros. Here’s why:
Torrence is suing the theater for being negligent for not guarding the emergency door since it’s believed that Holmes bought a ticket for the movie, propped open the emergency door, went to his car and returned to the theater through the emergency door with the guns. Nobody working at the theater saw him or stopped him.
Torrence is suing Holmes’ doctors because the attorney says it “appears” that Holmes was on several medications possibly prescribed by one or more doctors. It’s unsure if this diagnosis is simply from observing Holmes’ bizarre behavior or if Karpel knows for a fact that he was on meds.
Last, Torrence are suing Warner Bros for making The Dark Knight Rises “particularly violent” as Holmes copied some of the moves from the film like throwing the tear gas. Additionally, because of the violent nature of the film, Karpel said moviegoers assumed that Holmes was doing a live-action stunt before the start of the film and didn’t initially fear him.
Torrence spoke to Entertainment Tonight and said that James Holmes, dressed in all black and wearing a gas mask, tossed a can of tear gas into the theater from the exit door. The can hit a girl in front of Torrence, but the crowd still didn’t seem to be realize what was going on until Holmes opened fire. After hearing gunfire, Torrence realized that the girl in front of him was dead.
I believe Torrence might have a case with the movie theater in terms of negligence, though emergency doors at the movies aren’t typically guarded. There should have been some type of alarms that went off when the door was opened, so I do believe that Torrence deserves some amount of payment from them. However, I’m not sure about the lawsuits towards Holmes’ doctors and especially not Warner Bros. You’re suing a movie company for producing a violent movie that you were in the theater yourself to see? I don’t know if that’s going to hold up in court. But then again, I’m not a law analyst so you never know. But it doesn’t make sense to me.
Image via Entertainment Tonight