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Cobb Movie Theater Potentially Liable in Recent Texting Shooting

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A few recent media reports have raised the possibility of a lawsuit against the Cobb Grove movie theater in Wesley Chapel by the widow and estate of Chad Oulson.  Oulson was shot and killed by retired Tampa police officer Curtis Reeves, Jr. on January 13, 2014 over a text message Oulson was apparently sending to his 22-month-old daughter during previews before the movie began.

There are numerous factors and unknown variables at this early stage of the case, where the criminal investigation remains ongoing and Reeves has not yet been tried.  Therefore, it is difficult to predict whether the movie theater where the shooting occurred can be held responsible in a civil action for this tragic event.  One thing that can help answer this question is whether anyone working at the theater knew of any previous incidents involving Reeves or others, such as altercations with other patrons or staff or other erratic behavior.

This would place the theater on notice of potential violent incidents in the future and create a duty to take reasonable measures to prevent them, including excluding previously troublesome patrons from the theater, screening for and banning deadly weapons, and posting warning signs.

If there were such warning signs before this tragic shooting and the theater did nothing to try to prevent injuries or violent episodes, the insurance company for the theater could be responsible to the victim’s family, including Oulson’s infant daughter and widow, for their untimely and preventable loss.

The injury lawyers at Ahava Law Group, Jowita Wysocka Ahava and Ed Ahava, have over 30 years of combined experienced in handling a variety of negligence and wrongful death cases throughout the Tampa Bay, Florida area.  In any situation involving injuries of any kind, it is important to consult with an attorney for free to learn more about your rights and possible recovery.

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Ahava Law Group, a personal injury attorney, in Tampa specializes in defending victims’ rights in Brandon, Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg, FL. Call (813) 626-1234 to protect your rights under Florida law.

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