Judge Will Not Set Aside Verdict in Virginia Tech Lawsuit

Reporter: David Tate

Franklin Co, VA - The jury's decision to fine Virginia Tech for its actions the day of the 2007 shootings will stand.

Wednesday Judge William Alexander upheld the decision to find the university negligent at the hearing in Franklin County.

Back in March, a jury awarded the estates of Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde $4 million each.

The judge's decision to uphold that jury decision was the only good news for the plaintiffs. Beyond that, the judge, citing a state tort law cap, reduced the $4 million award to conform to that cap of $100,000 per family.

Finally, the judge refused a plaintiff request to once again add Tech President Charles Steger to the lawsuit. It's a decision they hope to appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

"Whether it raises issues they want to hear oral argument on and fully brief a panel of three of the seven justices will decide whether or not to allow an appeal. And if they allow an appeal, it will go to the full seven justice court," said Robert T. Hall, the plaintiff's attorney.

The Attorney General's office issued an email response which basically says they are pleased with the decision to stick to the state cap of $100,000 but they continue to believe that state law was misapplied when finding the commonwealth negligent.

With that said, the AG's office says their options are being considered.


Rocky Mount, VA - A judge has ruled that the verdict against Virginia Tech in the wake of the 2007 shootings will not be set aside.

The state asked a judge to set aside a jury's finding that the university was negligent in its response to the first shootings.

The judge did rule Wednesday that the damages for each family will be capped at $100,000. The jury had initially awarded the families $8 million.

The civil suit against the university was brought by the families of Julia Pryde and Erin Peterson, two of the 32 killed on April 16, 2007.