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Seal Beach Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Former In-Laws of Alleged Salon Shooter

December 31, 1969

The ex-in-laws of Scott Evans Dekraai are suing him for their daughter's Orange County, California wrongful death. Michelle Fournier was one of the eight people who were murdered (another was left critically injured) when Dekraai, 42, walked into the Salon Meritage and went on a shooting rampage. Geraldine and Joseph Burke are seeking unspecified damages that they say will go to Fournier and Dekraai's son Dominic, 8. They also are seeking burial and funeral costs.

Dekraai is charged with one count of attempted murder and eight counts of first-degree murder. The shooting, which is being called the worst mass killing in the history of Orange County, took place on October 12. Dekraai and Fournier were in the middle of a child custody dispute.

Per court papers, Dekraai has confessed to the killing spree. With three guns, ammunition, and while wearing a bulletproof vest, Dekraai drove to the salon where he fired at Fournier and a woman who had given testimony against him in custody case. He then started shooting at other salon employees and customers. Also murdered was a man who had been seated in his vehicle in the parking lot.

Dekraai reportedly had been trying to gain morecustody over Dominic, rather than the shared custody agreement he had with Fournier. A psychologist appointment by the court recommended that the arrangement stay the same.

Dekraai, a former licensed maritime officer, was seriously injured in a tugboat accident in 2007. In addition to suffering severe leg injuries, a deckhand was killed. According Fournier's lawyer Dekraai has been diagnosed as bipolar.

The family's California wrongful death lawyer says the plaintiffs believe that Dekraai has approximately $1 million in assets, including a Huntington Beach home and property interests. He also receives disability payments for his tugboat injuries. The attorney believes that the loved ones of the other victims that died in last month's shooting will also seek Seal Beach wrongful death damages.

Orange County, California Wrongful Death
Our Anaheim wrongful death law firm has been covering the developments in the wake of the Seal Beach salon shooting on our blog site (see our previous post below). As we mentioned earlier, it is not uncommon for victims of a violent crime to seek damages from the assailant. In certain instances, when the incident occurred on another party's property, that person/entity can also be sued for Seal Beach premises liability if inadequate security or a failure to protect residents, visitors, patrons, or guests allowed the crime to happen.

The best way to find out if you have grounds for a Seal Beach personal injury case is to consult with an experienced Orange County, California injury law firm.

Police: Seal Beach salon rampage suspect says he pondered shooting ex-wife after argument, Washington Post, November 2, 2011

Seal Beach shooting victims, Los Angeles Times, October 12, 2011

Accused California gunman sued by dead ex-wife's family, Reuters, November 4, 2011

More Blog Posts:
Eight Dead in Seal Beach Salon Shooting, California Injury Lawyers, October 14, 2011

Los Angeles Wrongful Death Claim Blames Metro for Man's Fatal Stabbing, California Injury Lawyers, October 13, 2011

Giants Fan Beaten At Dodger Stadium Placed in Medically Induced Coma, California Injury Lawyers, April 23, 2011