Robert A. Solomon, P.C.
Two Offices Serving New York & New Jersey

Virginia Tech fine approved after legal action

New Jersey readers likely remember the horrible shooting that took place at Virginia Tech in 2007. According to the news, the U.S. Education Secretary has now approved a second fine against the school in relation to the campus massacre that caused 33 deaths. This legal action has resulted in a $5,000 penalty for the school, and the school has previously been fined $27,500 in December 2012.

Both of these fines were issued under the federal Clery Act, which is an act designed to require schools to alert students, faculty, and visitors when there is a campus threat. The alert must be given in a timely fashion. The second fine was meant to be another for $27,500, according to the news; the judge ruled that the policies for the alerts were inconsistent but not a major violation of the Clery Act. The school claims it is considering appealing both fines. In a related case, the school was the center of a wrongful death lawsuit brought on by the parents of the students who were killed. Initially, they won the case, but later the ruling was overturned by the state Supreme Court.

Attorneys and the parents argued that a timely warning would have saved lives; two women were killed around 2.5 hours after the first shooting took place. The women may not have been on campus with the warning in place. The school has argued that a timely warning has not been defined by the federal officials.

If you've lost a loved one in an incident like this one, his or her wrongful death shouldn't be forgotten. You may be able to seek compensation for the loss of your loved one and any financial impact that has on you, as well as the pain and suffering from your loss.

Source:  New Jersey Herald, "US OKs $5k fine against Va. Tech for '07 massacre" Steve Szkotak, Jan. 04, 2014

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