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Judge dismisses school president from Virginia Tech lawsuits

The judge hearing the pair of $10-million wrongful death lawsuits based on the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings has narrowed the claims as the cases near trial.

Circuit Judge William Alexander ruled that claims against VT president Charles Steger were barred because they had been raised and dismissed in prior lawsuits filed in another Virginia court.

The ruling in a Jan. 25 letter opinion leaves only claims of gross negligence against the state based on actions of Virginia Tech officials in response to the initial shootings on April 16, 2007.

Alexander rejected the state’s motion to toss the entire case. State lawyers argued the families of two victims failed to marshal sufficient evidence to show officials ignored safety concerns in delaying campus warnings. Alexander said the evidence should be heard by a jury.

Trial is scheduled to begin March 5 in Montgomery County circuit Court.

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