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State appeals Va. Tech wrongful death verdict – Fort Worth Star Telegram

Associated Press
RICHMOND, Va. — The state moved Thursday to reverse a wrongful death verdict in the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech while the parents of two students killed want the university’s president to stand trial for failing to alert the campus when the first gunshots rang out.
The separate appeals were filed in the state Supreme Court within 24 hours of each other.A jury in March found the state negligent in the deaths of Erin N. Peterson and Julia K. Pryde and awarded their families $ 4 million each. A judge in June upheld the negligence finding but reduced the jury’s award to $ 100,000 for each family, the highest amount allowed under a cap on damages against the state.The women were among 32 faculty and students killed on April 16, 2007, on Tech’s Blacksburg campus. Student gunman Seung-Hui Cho also killed himself in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.While the actions that morning of Steger, campus police and other university leaders were put under the microscope in a courtroom, the president and other officials were dismissed from the case before trial, leaving the state as the lone defendant. Attorneys for the parents argued successfully that Steger and other university officials waited too long after the first two students were shot in a dormitory to alert the campus of the violence. The gunman was still at large.In his appeal, attorney Robert T. Hall cites a policy adopted by Tech’s Board of Visitors that recognizes the school’s responsibility to provide a safe campus for its students.”The policy required university relations and the university police to make the campus community aware of crimes … in a timely fashion [...]

By |October 12th, 2012|News|Comments Off on State appeals Va. Tech wrongful death verdict – Fort Worth Star Telegram|

Appeals Court Reverses Wrongful Death Award in Malik Jones Case – Hartford Courant

A federal appeals court on Wednesday reversed a $ 900,000 wrongful death verdict awarded to the mother of Malik Jones, a New Haven man shot to death by an East Haven police officer following a chase in 1997.
The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Emma Jones failed in her effort to show that the fatal shooting of her son, an African American, was the result of “deliberate indifference” by East Haven to abuse by its police officers of the rights of blacks and other people of color.
The appellate decision reverses a finding by a jury at U.S. District Court in Hartford as well as a ruling by Connecticut’s chief federal judge, Alvin W. Thompson, who presided over trial of the suit.

Emma Jones said she will discuss the appeals decision at a yet-to-be-scheduled press conference. Hugh Keefe, East Haven’s lawyer, said the decision probably will bring an end to prolonged and racially divisive litigation.

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The decision is a legal victory for East Haven. But the court’s language is unlikely to give comfort to a municipal government trying to dispel a perception that its town has been hostile to members of racial minorities.
Earlier this year, the town and its police force were battered by allegations of racial bias following a yearslong civil rights investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. The government accused the police department of bias, illegal searches and the use of excessive force.
Following the investigation, the federal government sued the town and charged four police officers with conspiracy, false arrest, excessive force and obstruction of justice in connection with the mistreatment of Hispanics.
In a footnote to its decision, the appeals court [...]

By |August 1st, 2012|News|Comments Off on Appeals Court Reverses Wrongful Death Award in Malik Jones Case – Hartford Courant|