Jury deliberates in Virginia Tech shootings lawsuit - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Jury deliberates in Virginia Tech shootings lawsuit

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Virginia Tech wrongful death lawsuit goes to the jury Wednesday.

Both sides will make closing arguments in the morning, then deliberation begins.

The issue is whether the school did enough to warn the campus on the day of 2007's deadly shooting rampage.

Scott Leamon has more on a Richmond mother's testimony.

Lori Haas drove there from Richmond, telling the jury she's taken the opportunity to question the state before on its handling of the 2007 Virginia Tech Panel Report.

"We formally asked by letter in late October or early November in 2008, after we had the police briefings with the administration of Virginia Tech, we formally asked the state to correct the panel report," Haas said.

Haas told jurors that the initial report listed her daughter as deceased.

Her daughter, Emily, stayed alive in her Norris Hall french class by playing dead.

She's also credited with giving first responders valuable information that day since she stayed on a cell phone with dispatchers, despite being grazed by two bullets.

"The parents were making a lot of noises in the press," Haas said. "I was interviewed. They were like, 'What do you want?' I said we want the panel reconvened and we want the report corrected."

Finally it did get corrected, but the families' attorneys said it took more than a year.

Testimony and evidence has ended for this trial. Soon, the seven member jury panel will weigh in.

The Virginia Tech review panel called it "recommendations" when it admonished Tech for the way it handled the initial aftermath of the West A.J murders.

The feds fined Tech $55,000, after the U.S. Department of Education found the university violated a campus safety law.

But Tech, and the state, have never really been given the chance to defend themselves this vigorously before. 

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