More theater shooting victims signal they may sue doctor

DENVER – Lawyers representing 14 people who were at a Colorado movie theater that was attacked by a gunman have filed notices that they may sue a university psychiatrist who treated the suspect.

The University of Colorado Denver on Thursday released notices of claim that university officials have received from lawyers who allege Dr. Lynne Fenton noted concerns about James Holmes before the shootings July 20. They allege Fenton, university officials or university police were negligent in not taking action.

Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and injuring 70 others in the attack. He hasn’t entered a plea yet.

Fenton has testified that she last met with Holmes on June 11. Holmes had withdrawn from the university’s graduate program in neuroscience a day earlier, the school has said.

Fenton’s attorney declined to comment about the claims.

Earlier this week, the widow of Jonathan Blunk, who died in the shootings, filed a negligence lawsuit against Fenton.

“We understand that there is pain and frustration among the families of the deceased and victims of this terrible crime, and we have great sympathy for them,” the university said in a statement. “However, we believe the cases are not well-founded, and the facts will speak for themselves as the legal process moves forward. We fully recognize that these notices are simply preserving an individual’s right to file a lawsuit at a later time should they choose to do so.”

The people who filed notices of claim include a couple who were in the multi-theater complex where the shootings occurred but not Theater 9, where the suspect opened fire. They also include Stefan Moton, who suffered a spinal-cord injury resulting in quadriplegia and is likely to seek $50 million in damages, his lawyer wrote.

The notices were first reported by CNN.