Jury rules VA Tech negligent - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Jury rules VA Tech negligent

CHRISTIANBURG, VA (WWBT) - Virginia Tech and the Attorney General's office are reviewing their options - after a jury ruled the school was negligent in its response to the 2007 mass shooting and awarded two families four million dollars each.

The jury ruled in favor of these two families after 3 and a half hours of deliberation.

The 2007 campus massacre left 33 dead and dozens injured.

The families of Erin Peterson and Julie Pryde said the two might be alive today if Virginia Tech police and administrators warned the campus sooner.

"We were looking for some truth for a long time. We didn't think all the truth had been uttered so we persevered with this court case, as did the Petersons, and were looking for some accountability, and so we got some sort of accountability today," said Julie Pryde's father, Harry Pryde.

"If you know that something could happen to harm the kids let them know, let them know, just let them know," said Erin Peterson's mother, Celeste Peterson.

The trial was an emotional one Andy Goddard would know he's the father of Colin Goddard who survived after being shot 4 times that April morning in class. Andy lives in Richmond but attended the trial he said during testimony there was hardly a dry eye in the courtroom.

"I think a lot of people were taken by it because they spoke so clearly and honestly and you can feel the hurt," said Andy Goddard.

The jury awarded two families in court $4 million dollars each. But they knew state law would only grant them a $100,000 each- and that was ok.

"It meant nothing to them because they were not doing this case for the money," said Goddard.

The state is expected to appeal the verdict. The state already appealed a separate fine handed down by federal education officials. No criminal charges were brought in the shooting, it's not clear if any more civil lawsuits will be filed.

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