Home / National News / Jury Finds Virginia Tech Negligent in Wrongful Death Trial


(BLACKSBURG, Va.) — A spokesman for Virginia Tech expressed the administration’s disappointment Wednesday after a jury determined the university was negligent in its response to the 2007 campus shootings, which left 33 dead.

“We are disappointed with today’s decision and stand by our long-held position that the administration and law enforcement at Virginia Tech did their absolute best with the information available on April 16, 2007,” Mark Owczarski, director of news and information and spokesman for Virginia Tech, said of the jury’s decision Wednesday.

The jury awarded $4 million each to the families of two students who died in what is said to be the deadliest mass shooting in modern history, according to The Roanoke Times. The families likely will not see all of the money, though.  Virginia law requires the amount awarded be capped at $100,000. The Roanoke Times reports a judge will rule on the final award at a later date.

Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde might have survived the massacre if Virginia Tech officials had warned students of Seung-Hui Cho’s earlier dorm shootings 2 1/2 hours before the killing finally ended, the families said.

The Virginia state panel report, the Federal Department of Education and now a state civil court jury have all found that Virginia Tech’s administration erred in their responsibilities to the campus community that day.  

Still, Owczarski maintains the “heinous crimes of Seung-Hui Cho” were an unprecedented act of violence that no one could have foreseen.

The Virginia Tech administration plans to “discuss this matter with the attorney general, carefully review the case, and explore all of the options available.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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