Notices Filed Of Possible Lawsuits Related To Virginia Tech Shootings

Friday, October 12th 2007, 6:38 pm
By: News On 6

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) _ A lawyer for families of 20 people killed or injured in the mass shootings at Virginia Tech gave notice Friday that lawsuits may be filed against the town where they occurred.

Blacksburg Town Attorney Larry Spencer said he received notices from Peter Grenier, a personal injury lawyer in Washington, D.C., of possible lawsuits claiming negligence by the town and its employees.

No lawsuits have been filed yet stemming from the April 16 shootings on the university's Blacksburg campus, where mentally disturbed student Seung-Hui Cho killed two people in a dormitory and 30 in a classroom building before taking his own life.

The notice doesn't necessarily mean lawsuits will be filed, but such notification is needed by Tuesday, six months after the shootings, if lawsuits against a locality are to be filed in state court.

Greg Gwaltney, whose son Matthew Gregory Gwaltney was killed, said he and the other families represented by Grenier's firm have been advised not to comment regarding the potential lawsuits. But he said many of the families planned to go to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to speak regarding the Brady Act, which requires a background check for anyone buying a gun, and may be able to comment further then.

Grenier represents the families of 12 people killed and eight who were injured in the shootings. A phone message seeking comment from Grenier was not immediately returned.

A second lawyer who is representing a family of one of the slain students also did not immediately return a phone message, but Spencer said he had received no other notices that lawsuits may be filed.

The town attorney said he was not surprised by the notices from Grenier.

``The law firm had informed me to expect this,'' he said.