Widow Sues Psychiatrist in Colorado Theater Shootings

January 17, 2013

The widow of a man killed in the Colorado movie theater shootings has sued a psychiatrist who once saw suspect James Holmes as a patient, saying the doctor should have asked police to detain Holmes before the shootings.

Chantel Blunk filed suit in Denver federal court Monday alleging psychiatrist Lynne Fenton was negligent in not asking police to place a 72-hour psychiatric hold on Holmes. The suit says Holmes told Fenton on June 11 that he fantasized about killing people.

Fenton works at the University of Colorado, Denver where Holmes was a student. Holmes withdrew about five weeks before he opened fire in the theater on July 20, killing 12, including Blunk’s husband, Jonathan, authorities said. Another 70 people were injured.

Holmes is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. He has not entered a plea.

The university said in a written statement it is sympathetic to the victims and survivors but that the suit is not well founded legally or factually.

Fenton’s attorney declined to comment.

The lawsuit does not ask for a specific amount in damages.

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Latest Comments

  • January 23, 2013 at 10:55 am
    Huh! says:
    The suit is ludicrous and so is the attorney that agrees to file.
  • January 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm
    jw says:
    I'm still trying to understand how a 72 hour hold in early June would stop this man in late July.
  • January 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm
    Erik Leander says:
    I wonder what this will fall under? or will this be a civil suit? I can't see this falling under a med-mal claim for obvious reasons.....this may turn into a class action suit... read more
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