Could Virginia Tech Be Held Liable for Cho Seung Hui’s Shootings, If An Investigation Were to Reveal It Had Been Negligent? - The Unfortunate Answer
Could Virginia Tech Be Held Liable for Cho Seung Hui's Shootings, If An Investigation Were to Reveal It Had Been Negligent? The Unfortunate Answer By ANTHONY J. SEBOK
In the aftermath of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, many commentators have begun to ask whether university officials could have done more to prevent the gunman, Cho Seung Hui, from killing 32 faculty members and students and himself, and wounding others. In this column, I will explore the possible legal basis for holding Virginia Tech liable for Cho's actions.
Importantly, I will not make any claims about Virginia Tech's actual responsibility - just its potential responsibility, contingent on the results of an investigation. Plainly, Cho, who is now dead, was the one most responsible for the events of April 16. No one can or should assume that anyone else bears responsibility for what he did. Only after a careful investigation can that sort of judgment be made.
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But once an investigation is complete, what will it tell us? If it turns out that there was negligence, or worse, on the part of the university or others, can the wounded victims or the families of the deceased victims of the attack sue Virginia Tech for damages?
The answer is not very reassuring for the families or the surviving victims, and it raises important questions about whether we want to insulate the state from accountability in court for its mistakes. (keep reading)