Families awarded $4 million each in a wrongful death lawsuit over Virginia Tech's response to a 2007 massacre are seeking to circumvent a $100,000 cap on claims against the state, according to court filings.
Montgomery County Circuit Court jurors ruled on March 14 that the state was negligent when Virginia Tech officials delayed alerting the Blacksburg campus of the first two shootings by a gunman who ultimately killed 32 and himself. It was the most deadly mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The jury awarded the families of two slain students $4 million each, but the state asked the trial judge to enforce the $100,000 cap on claims against the state. Jurors were not told of the cap before they began their deliberations in the eight-day trial.
The parents' attorney, Robert T. Hall, is seeking $2 million per family from the state's risk management plan, which covers state workers for damages related to their official actions as state employees, according to a motion filed this week.