ROANOKE, Va. – Families of the victims in the Virginia Tech shootings have reached an $11 million settlement with the state, lawyers said Thursday. The deal is designed to prevent future lawsuits.
Peter Grenier and Douglas Fierberg, who represent 21 families, said they would not discuss terms of the settlement until final papers are drawn.
"Our hearts go out to our many clients who entrusted us with this important responsibility, as well as to the other families who have been helped by our work," they said in a statement.
Seung-Hui Cho, a mentally disturbed student, killed 32 victims and wounded several others at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007 before committing suicide. At least 20 families had previously filed notice with the state that they may sue.
Earlier this year, a settlement proposal called for representatives of each of the 32 people killed by a student gunman last April 16 to receive $100,000. A pool of $800,000 was set aside for the injured in the plan, with individuals eligible to receive up to $100,000 apiece.
The injured would have had health-care expenses covered under the plan, and they and the families of those killed could seek additional money from a $1.75 million hardship fund.
The proposal also detailed arrangements for victims' families to meet with the governor and university officials to discuss the shootings and changes made in response to the violence.
A spokesman from Gov. Timothy M. Kaine described the settlement as "a work in progress."
"We're discussing things with the families. There's still a confidentiality agreement we're honoring until it's signed and in place," spokesman Gordon Hickey said.