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Nova Scotia Families Seek to Certify Class Action Against Mass Killers Estate

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HALIFAX—Families of victims of a mass shooting are hoping to gain a small measure of justice by suing the estate of the dead gunman, says a lawyer working on a civil action.

Robert Pineo said that as of Friday morning there were nine families seeking to certify a class action lawsuit against the estate of Gabriel Wortman, asking the court for compensation for the deaths and damage he caused during his rampage on April 18 and 19.

Wortman killed 22 people in five locations around the province in a rampage that began in the small community of Portapique, about 40 kilometres west of Truro. He was shot and killed by police on April 19 in Enfield, N.S.

Pineo says the specific damages being sought against the estate of the 51-year-old Halifax denturist are yet to be determined, but he expects they will be in the millions of dollars.

The lawyer also says a successful claim would likely far exceed the estates net worth, which includes real estate holdings Pineo estimates to have a value of more than $1 million.

“The families that I have information from arent doing this strictly for money but rather to get answers and to see a form of justice against the gunman, even if its through his estate,” he said.

He said its possible more families will join the action, or that other law firms will begin efforts to certify class actions that could later be consolidated into one case.

The representative plaintiff is Nicholas Beaton, whose wife Kristen Beaton was killed while she was on her way to work on April 19. Kristen Beaton, who worked for a nursing agency, was pregnant with the couples second child at the time of her death.

The proposed lawsuit names three categories of plaintiffs.

The first includes direct relatives of those killed, such as parents, children and spouses.

The second is all people who suffered personal injuries from the gunman, excluding a woman who police have described as his common law spouse.

The third category is for all people who suffered damage to property, again excluding his common law spouse.

Pineo said the womans exclusion from the lawsuit is because its possible, due to her relationship to the killer, that she may somehow be part of the estate.

The RCMP have said the common law spouse was harmed by the gunman during a domRead More – Source