Virginia Tech Found Negligent In Campus Shootings

Virginia Tech, who was named in a wrongful-death suit by two families, was found negligent in the 2007 campus shootings by a jury who awarded them $4 million each.

During the verdict being read the school was found in ‘negligent’ for not giving a prompt warning to students of what was happening at their campus. On April 16, 2007, a student named Seung-Hui Cho, went on a shooting spree in Norris Hall on the Blacksburg, Virginia Tech campus, killing 32 people and injuring several others before killing himself.

However, the families of Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde, argued that the two young women may be alive today if the school had warned the students of two shootings, allegedly by Cho, in a dorm that took place two hours before his rampage.

The defense of the university argued that there was no way possible to know that Cho would go on a killing spree like he did after the first two killings earlier in the morning.

State attorney, Peter R. Messitt told jurors, “What happened at Norris Hall was not reasonably foreseeable.”

After the verdict, family attorney Robert T. Hall said, “The university’s contention has been all along, to quote president [Charles] Steger, ‘We did everything we could do.’ Obviously the jury didn’t buy that.”

After the verdict, the state filed a motion to have the judgement reduced to $100,000 each as apparently state law has placed that amount as a cap on any wrongful-death suits; the jurors were not aware of such a cap.

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