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Families of Women Killed in Virginia Tech Shooting File $10M Wrongful Death Suits

Two families of women killed on April 16, 2007 have filed $10 million wrongful death lawsuits against Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, according to the Roanoke Times.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, whose office is defending Virginia Tech aginst the wrongful death claims, contended in a news conference in April 2011 that one of the plaintiffs' attorney admitted in court filings he no documents or witnesses to substantiate some of his clients' claims. The plaintiffs claimed that on April 16, 2007, the university's emergency policy group delayed warning the campus, located in Blacksburg, VA, of a fatal 7:15 am shooting in West Ambler Johnston Hall. At about 9:40 am, the same shooter opened fire in Norris Hall classrooms, killing 32 students and faculty, including himself, and wounding another 20.

The plaintiffs' attorney responded he had difficulty getting discovery from Virginia Tech: "For over two years ... multiple requests ... have been met either with ... prodigious quantities of meaningless material, or the withholding of important documents under the pretext that they were somehow privileged."

The judge in the case ordered Virginia Tech to release certain documents, including documents related to the demotion of former a Cook Counseling Center director in 2006. The shooter turned to the center for help in 2005, but the office lost track of him after the former director's demotion. To learn more about what to do if you or a loved one is seriously injured or wrongfully killed, check out our Frequently Asked Questions devoted to the subject.

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