September 5, 2007
Peter Grenier, a personal injury lawyer from Washington, D.C,. says the families of seven of the victims killed in the Virginia Tech tragedy has hired his firm to represent them in possible wrongful death lawsuits against the state.
So far no lawsuits have been filed. Grenier says that the lawsuits generally are expected to claim negligence and federal civil rights violations. Grenier said the report by the governor's panel that investigated the shootings supports negligence claims.
Because Virginia Tech is a public university, any lawsuit would name the Commonwealth of Virginia as the defendant. The state is largely protected from civil lawsuits by "sovereign immunity."
Attorney General Bob McDonnell had no comment. He would represent the state in any lawsuits stemming from the Tech shootings.