Va. Supreme Court Reverses Ruling in Virginia Tech Wrongful Death Case

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The Virginia Supreme Court today ruled that Virginia Tech had no special duty to warn students about a shooter on April 16, 2007.

On that day, a gunman killed two students in a residence hall before going to Norris Hall and opening fire in several classrooms, eventually killing a total of 32 people before committing suicide.

In their decision, the court said, "Based on the limited information available to the commonwealth prior to the shootings in Norris Hall, it cannot be said that it was known or reasonably foreseeable that students in Norris Hall would fall victim to criminal harm. Thus, as a matter of law, the commonwealth did not have a duty to protect students against third party criminal acts."

The ruling reverses a lower court decision that awarded $4 million each to the families of two victims, Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde. A judge had earlier reduced the amount of that award to $100,000 for each family.


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