The families of two students who were killed in the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting have filed a wrongful death lawsuit this past Monday in an attempt to hold the University accountable for the massacre.
The trial is expected to last a week and Jury selection is scheduled for day one in the Montgomery County Circuit Court of Christianburg Virginia. The plaintiffs have retained the services of attorney Robert T. Hall.
In April of 2007, a mentally troubled student went on a rampage that killed 32 people, wounded 25 others, and only ended when he killed himself. It is still on record as the deadliest killing spree by a single person in US history.
The suit was filed by the parents of Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde. Pryde had been studying biological systems engineering, and Peterson was a student of International Studies. Peterson was a native of Virginia, while Pryde hailed from Middletown New Jersey.
The parents of the girls issued a joint statement, saying that both of their daughters and the other 30 dead students would still be alive, had the university acted faster and made the school aware of the unfolding events instead of hesitating.
“The morning of April 16, 2007 a university vice-president alerted the governor at 8.52 a.m., that the university had ‘one dead, one wounded and a gunman on the loose.’ Our daughters and the other students … would be alive today if the information had been shared,” the statement filed with court officials stated.
Mark Owczarski, a school representative said the litigation is “simply without merit.”
According to Owczarski, many investigations have failed to indicate the school acted inappropriately. He predicted that the outcome of the lawsuit would be in the school’s favor.
The Virginia Tech tragedy remains synonymous with the Columbine and Jonesboro school shootings as tragic events in American history, with each case raising serious and difficult questions about the nature of school security.