Tech families head to Virginia Supreme Court - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Tech families head to Virginia Supreme Court


A showdown set in Virginia's Supreme Court.

Both the state-- and the parents of two victims from the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech, are asking to have the verdict in a wrongful death suit re-evaluated.

It is rare two sides of the same case asking for an appeal, but it is for very different reasons.

11 months ago, it looked like this issue was settled.

The parents of two Tech victims, who turned down a settlement with the State, sued the school and the Commonwealth for the wrongful death of their kids.

"We were looking for some truth for a long time we didn't think all the truth had been uttered," said Harry Pryde in March of 2012 after the verdict came in.

The court agreed with their plea, awarding the families of Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde $4 million.

The families' ultimate award was capped at $100 thousand each under state law.

But despite the victory the families decided they weren't done yet. They appealed the verdict, because they wanted the opportunity to personally try Tech President Charles Steger. Steger was removed from the case before the trial went to circuit court.

The state's appeal is based on several points. They want the verdict tossed out.

For the families this process is personal. It is not about money. It is about digging up every possible piece of information from that day, so it doesn't happen again.

"If you know that something could happen to harm the kids let them know, let them know, just let them," said Celeste Peterson on the day the initial verdict came down.  

Meaning the longer this legal process goes on the better.

Both sides will get 10 minutes to make their case, the chances that either side will be successful is slim. The Supreme Court is fickle when it comes to granting appeals. In 2011 less than 7% of the appeals heard were accepted.

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