The state is attempting to appeal wrongful death verdicts in favor of families of students killed in the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech. The families were awarded $4 million each by the jury, but these verdicts were reduced to only $100,000 per family, the highest amount allowed by law in lawsuits against the state. The families of these two victims were seeking compensation after refusing an offer by the state for the same amount, and hope that their continued pursuit of the case will result in a criminal trial for the university’s president, who they say could have stopped the massacre by alerting the campus when he was first informed of the shooting. The two students at the center of this lawsuit were killed two and half hours after the first shootings, at which point a full campus alert was issued. At that point 32 students were dead, 30 of them in the gunman’s final killing spree.
They have also intimated that they might have stopped their wrongful death lawsuits if the president apologized for his inaction. Now the refusal to apologize for his actions is costing the state’s taxpayers even more money as the state’s attorneys have filed appeals with the Supreme Court.
Verdicts like this one show the responsibility that public officials have to ensure the safety of the communities they watch over. If you have lost a loved one due to the inaction of an official, you may be able to receive compensation for your loss.
For a free consultation about your legal rights and options, please contact Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA in Columbus, Ohio today.