Common-law partner of Nova Scotia shooter sues his estate for trauma, injuries
HALIFAX -- The woman who was a long-time common-law partner of the man responsible for Nova Scotia’s mass killing in April has sued his estate for damages.
Documents filed in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on Wednesday give notice to the late shooter’s estate of the claim for damages related to “assault, battery, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of mental suffering.”
The killings began in the small community of Portapique, N.S., on the weekend of April 18 and resulted in the deaths of 22 people.
The shooter’s rampage ended when he was shot and killed by police at a gas station in Enfield, N.S., on April 19, roughly 13 hours after his killing spree began.
The filing is made by Dartmouth lawyer Peter Rumscheidt of Weldon McInnis on behalf of his client.
While the woman has been named in the documents filed in court, CTV News has chosen not to name her because she is an alleged victim of domestic violence.
When contacted Thursday afternoon, Rumscheidt denied a request from CTV News for comment.
In the statement of claim filed in court, the woman states that she and 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman had been in a common-law relationship over the course of “many years,” including on April 19.
The claim states she and Wortman were together at one of his properties in Portapique on April 18. She says on that same day, he assaulted her, and falsely imprisoned her.
As a result, the statement says she has suffered “physical, emotional, and psychological injuries and trauma.”
The woman was originally named as the sole beneficiary and executor of the shooter’s estate, but she relinquished her role as executor. That role has since been assumed by a public trustee.
It’s now the third lawsuit to arise out of the tragic events.
In May, the lawyer representing the families of those killed and injured in the rampage filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the shooter’s estate. That lawsuit did not include his common-law partner as a claimant.
Then in June, the same group filed papers for an intended class action against the RCMP and the Province of Nova Scotia for failing to “protect the safety and security of the public” during the shootings.
Both of those cases are being handled by lawyers with Patterson Law.
In the case of this latest claim against the shooter’s estate, the public trustee has 15 days to file a notice of defence.