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Judge approves $11 million Virginia Tech settlement

[JURIST] A Virginia circuit court judge approved an $11 million state settlement agreement [template, PDF; press release] Tuesday for the families of 24 people killed in the April 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech [JURIST news archive]. The settlement, which many of the families involved tentatively approved [JURIST report] in April, gives each family $100,000 plus medical expenses and provides for meetings with Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and Virginia Tech administration and police officials. Many of the families in the settlement considered wrongful-death and personal-injury lawsuits against the state of Virginia after an independent state panel reported [text] that different school policies could have avoided some of the deaths, but the settlement terms require the families to release their claims. The state also finalized settlements with injured victims, which do not need court approval, that provide up to $100,000 each and possible lifetime medical care. The Washington Post has more. The Richmond Times-Dispatch has local coverage.

The Virginia Tech shootings left 33 people dead and 25 wounded in the deadliest shooting incident in US history [Washington Post backgrounder]. Last year, Kaine issued an executive order [text; JURIST report] closing the loophole [JURIST report] that allowed the shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, to purchase a gun even though a Virginia court ordered him to receive psychiatric treatment in 2005.

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