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James Holmes Massacre

Victim's Mother Ready

to Sue Movie Theater

7/30/2012 5:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0729_james_holmes_aurora_tmzThe mother of one of James Holmes' massacre victims has hired a high-powered attorney to sue the Aurora, CO movie theater where he opened fire ... killing 12 people, and injuring 58 others.

TMZ has learned Shirley Wygal is retaining a lawyer in Los Angeles to handle her case -- and we're told she plans to go after the Century 16 Theater.

Shirley's 32-year-old daughter Rebecca Wingo was shot and killed in the theater.

Sources close to Shirley tell us she believes the theater's emergency exit doors should have been alarmed, or there should have been security guards posted next to them ... especially for a premiere as anticipated as "The Dark Knight Rises."

Witnesses say Holmes entered the theater through an emergency exit door and then started shooting. Authorities think he may have propped the door open earlier from inside the theater.

TMZ broke the story ... a survivor of the shooting spree is planning a similar suit, but he also intends to go after Warner Bros. and Holmes' doctors.

We've reached out to Cinemark -- the theater's corporate owners -- but no reply yet.

Holmes will be in court Monday morning to be formally charged in the massacre.

396 COMMENTS

No Avatar
76.

Seymour Bluffs    

Not sure of all the details but she may have a case here. If it was an emergency exit only then it should have had an alarm to alert staff that someone had opened it thus preventing him for leaving and coming back in.

728 days ago
77.

Dave    

If the building was up to code, what did the theatre, or anyone who isn't nuts have to do with it? Oh ya, they have the deep pockets. Pathetic.

728 days ago
78.

gpzjack    

Never ceases to amaze me that in the middle of dealing with the loss all these people can see is dollar signs. Blaming the theater is ridiculous.

728 days ago
79.

gamepro    

it wasn't the theaters fault and tell me what theater anywhere that has security guards what do you want people padded down before you go in and they just need to make stricter gun laws but come on we dont need movie theaters to be like airports and i hope james holmes still gets the death penalty

728 days ago
80.

dyls_E    

I dont get the argument that the emergency exits should have been alarmed argument. I dont know the official term for the doors, but as far as I know, they aren't "emergency exits" they are just exits. Shops and restraints have "emergency only" exits, The reason is that they need to have more exits for safety, but they don't want people just sneaking out the doors, and stealing stuff and using the rear exits. Not to mention the emergency doors are so people aren't trapped in a fire, not to keep gunmen out. Max made a good point a few weeks ago, that if the guy couldn't get in those doors, he would have just done it in the foyer.

728 days ago
81.

cherokeesky34    

When I first started reading the article, I was like "ok well that's dumb to go after the theater. They can't control a gunman." .. But, she does have a point. The emergency exit should have not been able to be open from the outside by just anyone (police/ems/firemen have keys/codes/alternative ways to get inside ) and there should have been a very very loud alarm that notified the people inside, the movie theater AND the police immediately. I live in a tiny little town, and our emergency exits at even the smallest to the largest theaters around here, have had that in use since the 70s and I know we're always abou 20 years behind everyone else. So, yeah, while they are not liable for some idiot gunman, they are neglegent (sp) for not having even the most basic of security systems in place. JMO and I'm sure there are tons that wont agree but that's ok too :)

728 days ago
82.

moe l.    

Although the loss of your child is immeasurable, suing the theater for not having an armed guard and triple locks on the emergency exists is stupid.

728 days ago
83.

BB not bb    

Anytime someone's life isn't perfect, they think they can sue. Well no one's life is perfect and there is no one to blame over it either. You have to take responsibility for your own life and your own luck. Maybe all these shootings are due to a curse, maybe for being hypocrites and abusing others and thinking it is all good as long as you are having fun.


If you want to prevent evil, try being a better person yourself. Try repenting of what you do wrong and standing up for what is right. Taking advantage of people who are innocent in bad situations is not the right thing to do.

728 days ago
84.

Tam    

Give me a break. Armed guards???? SMH SMH. Sad part is there will be plenty of law suits and some crazy judge will award these people money.

728 days ago
85.

Taterbug1962    

What next? Sue the company that made the alarm system because it wasn't loud enough? If it were my family member that got shot and died I would be too grief stricken to ever think about who to sue. It's the cause of the shooter not the theatre! Always wanting money and this time (as many times), it's just plain ignorant. You already lost your daughter and no amount of money can bring her back so pray instead and grieve like the hundreds more this has effected. Too many "What if's?"........ It's James Holmes fault! I figured something like this would happen because money makes people animals! Sad isn't it?......

728 days ago
86.

verlinda    

Sue sue sue, the American way. I remember back in the 70's, a women sued Pilsbury because little Pop-n-Fresh didn't pop out of her biscuits. She won 1 million dollars. When you see him now, he is out of the can

728 days ago
87.

Truth    

RETARDED!! +100. TRUE, THE MOM LOST A KID BUT FACE THE FACTS. LOONEY BINS EXIST EVERYWHERE. THEY GONNA GET THRU NO MATTER WHAT. NOW THEY EXPECT EVERY FREAKIN THEATRE CHAIN ON THE PLANET TO HAVE ARMED GUARDS, ALARMS, AND METAL DETECTORS. BITCH PULEEEEZ... JUST MOVE INTO AN AIRPORT POINT BLANK. NEXT TIME SOME WACK JOB WILL USE STRAPPED ON EXPLOSIVES IN A NYC BUS. THEN SOME IDIOT WILL SUE AND SAY WHY ARENT THERE ARMED GUARDS AT EVERY F*CKING BUS STOP! FOR REALZ. GTFO! #TRUTH!!

728 days ago
88.

lanie    

You know who pays for these frivilous lawsuits? WE DO.. Prices go up to pay for nonsense like this... and we're the ones who end paying for it.. Ticket prices will go up...and court costs will be paid by the tax payers.. That's not fair..

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The movie theater is NOT at fault.. Warner Bros' is not at fault.. James Holmes is responsible.

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Why isn't James Holmes even named in the lawsuit? I am sorry this lady's daughter died, but why muddy up her memory by trying to seek bloody money from her dead body?

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People who sue should have to pay ALL the court costs back if they lose.. Maybe that will stop the frivilous lawsuit brigade..

728 days ago
89.

Texas    

This is what is wrong with everything these days... getting a lawsuit to sue the theatre or the movie maker... that is just ridiculous.
These things are called ACCIDENTS…. Yes it sucks but the theatre nor the movie did anything wrong….. this was a crazy man.. the theatre was not in on it with him, nor did they help him go crazy and shoot all these innocent folks….They didn’t just allow him in with the guns attached to him….THAT would be reason to sue them for fault not the reason’s folks are looking at today.
He was crazy, it was an unfortunate accident. You can’t blame the makers of the movie… cause if you do then was your family member crazy for going to watch it….? They didn’t cause this person to do what he did… HE did what he did on his own.
STOP BEING SUE HAPPY PEOPLE and understand that the pain you are feeling, others are feeling, and I am sure that this theatre, as well as others NEVER expected this to take place…. NO ONE DID….
If you start suing these theatres or movie makers, we will start seeing only G movies…. And the theatres will start closing down because they will not have the funds to put in metal detectors or have the personnel to start going through your bags, and patting everyone down. The theatres that do have the funds to do that will get boycotted from you people that will not want to get their bags gone through or go through metal detectors as it will be the same as airports, people will find a reason to complain!

728 days ago
90.

AlwaysOnTimeB    

Doesn't make much sense to me. The Theater owners are not clairvoyant. They couldn't have possibly know or anticipated that this would happen. The best that could be gained in this lawsuit is that the Theater will get shut down, if that's what she wants. SMH!

728 days ago
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