As discussed on this blog, Virginia’s $100,000 limit on tort claims against the state was one of the central reasons why families agreed to a settlement with Virginia at a relatively low figure. Now, finally, someone is seeking to change the cap which has not be raised in over a decade.
Families of students and teachers killed or injured by Seung Hui Cho had a promising case of negligence against the state. Click here but the cap created considerable uncertainty as to their ability to secure and defend any award.
House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) has stated that “Just like the situation at Tech brought to light the need for mental health reforms, it also raises questions why the Tort Claims Act dollar amount hasn’t been raised since 1993.”
A $25,000 cap was first imposed in 1982 and then raised to $100,000 in 1993 — applying to all cases except those involving “gross negligence.” It was possible that the families could prove gross negligence but it was a risk.
That led them to accept an $11 million settlement in exchange for agreeing not to sue the state, including $100,000 to the families of the 32 people Cho killed and up to $100,000 for the injured, depending on the severity of their injuries.
For the full article, click here.