Will The $10 million Virginia Tech Wrongful Death Lawsuits Go Forward? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

No one will soon forget the Virginia Tech shootings that took place in April 2007, in which student Seung-Hui Cho went on a shooting rampage that killed 32 people and wounded dozens more. The suicide massacre is the most deadly school shooting in United States history, and is also the largest and most violent single-shooter mass murder event in the United States.

Now a Virginia judge is listening to the arguments for and against two $10 million wrongful death lawsuits that argue that the school did not respond in the correct way after Cho killed his first victim in an act of violence that occurred hours before the second wave of murders. They also argue that a number of mental health facilities and services did not act even when sever professors reported his disturbing behavior. The two families, the relatives of shooting victims Julia Pryde and Erin Peterson, have filed the wrongful death lawsuit against the workers at the counseling center where Cho sought help, school officials, and the estate of Cho himself.

Franklin County Circuit Court Judge William Alexander is hearing the arguments of both sides of the wrongful death suit this week, but has not been able to make a decision in either direction. He is expected to hand down his decision on January 15. The ruling, which will answer the question of whether the officials are immune to civil action and will decide whether or not the case will be investigated more deeply.

A number of relatives of victims and survivors of the shooter were in the courtroom.