Children of salon shooting victim sue suspect

The children of a woman who was killed two years ago during a mass shooting at a Seal Beach salon have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her alleged killer.

Chelsea and Chad Huff are suing Scott Dekraai, of Huntington Beach, for unspecified damages in the death of their 47-year-old mother, Michelle Fournier, at her workplace in Seal Beach on Oct. 12, 2011.

The Huffs are the latest complainants to file suit against the suspect. According to their lawyer, Susan Sneidmiller, a total of nine complaints have been filed against Dekraai. The Huffs' complaint was filed Oct. 8.

Sneidmiller said she's still catching up on the details of the case and has yet to determine the monetary damages she will be seeking. But she cited attorney Ed Susolik, who is representing other parties in their legal actions against Dekraai, and his estimate of the total damages for all nine cases: around $200 million.

Fournier was one of eight people killed allegedly by Dekraai, who was identified as entering Salon Meritage and opening fire on his ex-wife, Fournier, her co-workers and customers. In the shop was a single survivor. Among those killed was a man who had been sitting in a parked SUV outside the business.

It had been reported that the couple were in a heated custody dispute over their son, Dominic Dekraai.

As a result of their mother's death, Fournier's children have been "deprived of the care, society and comfort of their mother" and have been "caused the loss of future services, earnings and protection" because of Dekraai's "negligence, carelessness, recklessness, wantonness and unlawfulness," Sneidmiller wrote in her claim.

Additionally, Chelsea Huff had to give up her "career aspirations" to gain custody of her half-brother, Dominic, Sneidmiller wrote.

Chad and Chelsea Huff are Fournier's children from her first marriage.

Dekraai has been charged with eight counts of special circumstances murder and one count of attempted murder.

According to the Los Angeles Times, family members of the victims, including Chelsea Huff, have asked Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals to set Dekraai's trial for this fall, but it was ultimately delayed because of the complexity of the case. The judge scheduled the trial for March 24, 2014.

—Anthony Clark Carpio

Twitter: @acocarpio

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