Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Victim's Widow Sues Day-Trading Firm

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Victim's Widow Sues Day-Trading Firm

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- One of the day-trading firms where Mark O. Barton lost money and eventually killed nine people should have known he was capable of "murderous, heinous acts," says a lawsuit filed by the widow of one of the victims.

Gulshan Harjee is suing All-Tech Investment Group for wrongful death and negligence in the slaying of her husband, Dean Delawalla. The suit also seeks unspecified damages from Barton's estate, the owners of the building where All-Tech's Atlanta office is located and the building's security company.

It is the first lawsuit filed in the wake of Barton's bloody rampage July 29, which left nine people dead and 13 wounded at the offices of All-Tech and a second day-trading firm, Momentum Securities. Barton, who police say killed his wife and two children in the days before the shootings, committed suicide when cornered by police.

The lawsuit says All-Tech had a responsibility to supervise Barton and protect him from piling up the huge financial losses suspected of prompting the slayings. It also says All-Tech should have checked Barton's background, which would have revealed he was suspected of killing his first wife and her mother in 1993.

"Despite its knowledge of the extreme pressures of day trading . . . All-Tech did not screen its clients for criminal or violent tendencies or emotional stability," says the suit, filed Friday in Fulton County State Court.

"The heinous, murderous acts committed by Mark Barton . . . were reasonably foreseeable" by All-Tech officials, it says.

Linda Lerner, an attorney for Montvale, N.J.-based All-Tech, had not seen the suit yesterday and said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

"We want to express our very deep condolences once again to the Delawalla family on the loss of Dean," Lerner said. "He was a super guy, and this is a terrible tragedy perpetrated by a maniac. …

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