Suit against theater could help shooter's case

Two years ago, Curtis Reeves shot and killed Chad Oulson during an argument in a Wesley Chapel movie theater. Now Oulson's wife, Nicole is suing the theater where it happened.

The suit targets the movie theater, as well as a manager there. But it may have the unintended result of boosting the defense of Curtis Reeves.

Reeves does not deny he shot Olson, but will argue a "stand your ground" defense. Reeves' attorney, Rickman said he can use admissions made in cross-examination for his client's benefit. 

The victims' widow, Nicole Oulson and her her attorneys filed a civil lawsuit against the movie theater and theater manager claiming negligence.

The complaint says theater management had a responsibility to de-escalate the situation, but instead did nothing.

Nicole Oulson's attorney, T.J. Grimaldi said, "it matters what Reeves is saying, that he told this person and, based on what he told this person, he needs to make the determination, which I believe any reasonable person would, that they need to get up and investigate to determine what's going on in the movie theater."

Defense attorney Anthony Rickman reviewed the complaint for FOX 13.

In the suit, Nicole Oulson concedes her husband was the aggressor, taking Curtis Reeves' own words to bolster her lawsuit.

It explains Reeves complains to the theater manager about Chad Oulsons' "erratic" and "volatile" behavior.

"It says the staff is responsible, essentially because they didn't stop her husband from fighting," Rickman explained.

But Nicole's attorney refutes that, "it purportedly was occurring. We are not suggesting, we are not even becoming close to agreeing that Chad was the aggressor," said Grimaldi.

It was January of 2013 when Chad Oulson was shot and killed during a dispute over using a cellphone in a movie theater in Wesley Chapel.

Reeves, a former Tampa Police Captain, says he feared for his life when he shot Oulson, and says Oulson threw his cell phone and a bag of popcorn at him during the confrontation.

The civil suit confirms Oulsen threw the popcorn.

Rickman says that's the moment the confrontation turns physical.

"When you file a lawsuit, those are admissions... Those facts your admitting to are fair game in cross examination, during a criminal case, Rickman explained.

But Grimaldi isn't worried, "that's, in fact, not true. We stand by the position all along that he was not the aggressor.", " said Grimaldi.