Nightclub victims sue gunman's employer, wife

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The Pulse nightclub in Orlando. (Gerardo Mora, AFP)
The Pulse nightclub in Orlando. (Gerardo Mora, AFP)

Orlando - A personal injury attorney representing some of the families and survivors of the Orlando nightclub massacre filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the gunman's employer and wife, claiming they were able to stop Omar Mateen before the attack but didn't.

The lawsuit was filed in the federal court in South Florida on behalf of more than four dozen of the survivors and family members of those killed at the Pulse nightclub in June last year.

Firearm licence

A total of 49 people were killed during the worst mass shooting in modern US history at the gay nightclub. Dozens more were injured.

The lawsuit claims wrongful death, negligence and other counts.

Personal injury attorney Antonio Romanucci said Mateen's employer, international security company G4S, knew he was mentally unstable yet allowed him to carry a gun in his job as a security guard. Mateen had a firearm license through his job, said Romanucci.

"Mateen gave out so many warnings that someone should have stopped him", Romanucci said.

While working as a security guard at the St Lucie County Courthouse, Mateen was investigated by the FBI in 2013 after he told co-workers he had connections to terrorists and a mass shooter. He later told his bosses he had made that up to get his co-workers to stop teasing him about being Muslim and the FBI determined he was not a threat.

Romanucci said Mateen's wife, Noor Salman, knew her husband was going to carry out the killings.

Terrorist attacks

Salman currently is in jail awaiting trial. She has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors have said Salman accompanied her husband when he cased locations for potential terrorist attacks and knew ahead of time that he was planning the attack.

A fund that was established after the massacre has distributed almost $30m to the survivors and family members of victims.


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