A hearing has been set for the appeal of the civil case between Virginia Tech and the families of two victims of the April 16, 2007, campus shootings.
The appeals of both parties will be heard before a three-justice panel of the Virginia Supreme Court on Feb. 12 in Richmond.
The panel will listen to oral arguments before determining if the entire seven-justice court will hear the case in full. The court will decide whether to hear the appeal of Tech, the families or both in full.
The cases were appealed by both sides on separate grounds in October. The parents of shooting victims Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde argue that President Charles Steger should be involved in the case as an individual defendant. Steger had previously been dropped as an individual defendant.
The Virginia Attorney General's office appealed on behalf of Virginia Tech, arguing that language used in instructing jurors was faulty, and therefore the jury verdict in the initial civil case should be thrown out.
The case was originally filed in 2009 and came to trial last year. In March, Peterson and Pryde's families won the civil suit. The Montgomery County Circuit Court jury found the university responsible, saying officials did not adequately warn students of a foreseeable danger. The jury awarded each family $4 million.
The $4 million award was later reduced to $100,000 each because the state's Tort Claims Act limits the amount an individual can receive as compensation in a civil suit.
Pryde and Peterson were among the 32 people killed on April 16, 2007. They were killed in Norris Hall, two-and-a-half hours after Seung-Hui Cho killed two students in West Ambler-Johnston Hall.
Police believed that the initial two shootings resulted from a domestic incident and that the shooter had fled campus already. Peterson and Pryde's families alleged that Tech officials should have provided a more detailed and timely notice of the West AJ shooting.
The families of the 28 other victims killed in Norris settled with the university in 2008 for $100,000.
The current civil suit is different from an ongoing criminal case being held against the university by the Department of Education. In that case, the university was fined by the DOE for violating a federal law that requires schools to issue a timely warning in the event that the student population may be in danger.
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