The killing of eight people in a San Francisco salon shocked and horrified people in our region and across the nation. On Monday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a second victim’s family has filed a civil suit against Scott Dekraii, the alleged shooter. As the news report indicates, the family of Christy Lee Wilson is seeking compensation for the loss of the mother and wife who was murdered while getting her hair styled at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach. The San Francisco salon shootings appear to have been targeted at Michelle Fournier, whose family has also filed a San Francisco wrongful death lawsuit against the accused shooter.
When a loved one is lost, the family is left in an emotional turmoil that few can even imagine. It is hard to think about the legal system in such trying times, but it is still important to contact a San Francisco wrongful death attorney to be sure your legal rights are fully protected. In these cases, the criminal justice system does operate to punish the offender but it cannot provide direct aid to the victim’s family. This is where a civil lawsuit under California wrongful death principles can be crucial. Although the lawsuit cannot bring back the loved relative, economic compensation can help the family concentrate on rebuilding with less worry about the financial impact of the loss.
California Civil Code Section 377.60 sets forth the list of individuals entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit is most often brought by a spouse (or registered domestic partner) or a child but the law does allow other individuals to bring suit if no spouse or child exists. In many cases, a single lawsuit may be filed to join multiple claims that are tied to the death of one individual.
A civil lawsuit for wrongful death can encompass both direct economic costs of the death as well as monetary compensation for more intangible loss. “Pocket book” costs that are often part of a civil suit include the loss of the individual’s earnings (including benefits such as health insurance carried by the victim) as well as direct funeral and burial costs. These economic losses can also include the loss of the victim’s help with household duties, a factor that is especially important if the lost relative was a full-time parent or home-maker. California law also provides that the civil court can award damages for non-economic losses. Such losses can include the loss of love, moral support, companionship, sexual relations, and other losses of an emotional nature.
At the Brod Law Firm we recognize that no amount of compensation can ever bring back a loved one. The Seal Beach salon shooting, like all cases of wrongful death, left an enormous void in the lives of those who have lost an important member of their family to senseless and needless violence. While we cannot bring back your loved one, our San Francisco wrongful death lawyer can help you to pursue your legal rights following the loss and help you receive compensation that you need and deserve. Our legal team is experienced in helping families through this complex and emotional process and we offer a free consultation to help determine your legal rights following a terrible loss.
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