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Parents of Suicidal Virginia Tech Student File $43 Million Lawsuit Against University

4 comments

On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho opened fire on the Virginia Tech campus. Unfortunately, in an odd twist of fate, another student named Daniel Kim committed suicide because he felt he closely resembled the shooter in looks. Now, Kim’s parents are suing the university, arguing that school officials failed to respond to a warning letter from one of Kim’s friends that Kim became anguished and withdrawn after the shootings occurred.

Kim’s parents, Elizabeth and William Kim of Reston, VA have charged the university with negligence in the death of their 21-year-old son, who was a senior at the school. The lawsuit was filed Friday in Fairfax County Circuit Court and seeks $43 million in damages. Additionally, Elizabeth and William have also asked the university to help establish a law that requires state universities in Virginia to notify parents when they receive threat of a suicidal student.

According to the suit, university officials read and discussed the email sent by Kim’s friend. However, instead of following university policy that requires suicidal students be evaluated by a psychologist, school officials sent a police officer to speak to Kim. According to the police officer Kim appeared “okay” and university officials dismissed the initial email despite the friend’s belief that his concerns would be addressed. Nevertheless, university officials maintain that the appropriate measures were taken in the case.

4 Comments

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  1. Erin says:
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    I am a former VT student and was present for the shootings in 2007. I was also aware of this student’s suicide when it occurred. It is not the school’s fault and they are not allowed by law to inform parents of anything. Privacy rights, etc. basically tie the schools hands. This is just another way to drag VT through the mud. We’ve been through enough. The death of this guy is tragic but he was over 18 and the law doesn’t really allow the school to do much of anything to help him. It’s very sad. Change the law, don’t punish VT anymore.

  2. Erin says:
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    I am a former VT student and was present for the shootings in 2007. I was also aware of this student’s suicide when it occurred. It is not the school’s fault and they are not allowed by law to inform parents of anything. Privacy rights, etc. basically tie the schools hands. This is just another way to drag VT through the mud. We’ve been through enough. The death of this guy is tragic but he was over 18 and the law doesn’t really allow the school to do much of anything to help him. It’s very sad. Change the law, don’t punish VT anymore.

  3. Anony says:
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    I was there during the shootings and this death as well and remember when a student jumped out of a window in Pritchard Hall… if someone is going to do something, they will. If not now then later. It is hard but the problem is when someone kills themselves you will never have the answers you seek for and no amount of money will ever satisfy the loss. This suit hurts students who have gone through the tragic things.

  4. S says:
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    I understand this family’s feelings. Virginia Tech was wrong in not notifying the family or anybody for that matter on his suicidal behaviors. The family obviously had no idea that their chid was suicidal since he was so far away. Colleges should have the responsibility of informing families when things like this occur. It’s so tragic that so many bad things happen at VT, where I attend currently. Certain measures must be taken to make everyone safe. More protection. More help. More awareness.