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Page last updated at 21:18 GMT, Thursday, 10 April 2008 22:18 UK

Virginia Tech families agree deal

A makeshift memorial at Virginia Tech, April 2007
The killings left Virginia Tech students and staff shocked and in mourning

Survivors and relatives of those killed in the Virginia Tech massacre a year ago have agreed a deal totalling $11m (Ł5.5m) with the US state, lawyers say.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine said a "substantial majority" of the families of victims had approved the settlement.

More than 30 people died and dozens were hurt when student Cho Seung-hui went on a campus rampage in April 2007.

Lawyers said the settlement - designed to prevent future lawsuits - would help families meet medical and other costs.

Mr Kaine described the deal as "a reasonable resolution" to the needs of those directly affected by a massacre which shocked Virginia Tech and the nation a year ago.

Compensated

Full details of the agreement have yet to be disclosed.

However, lawyers Peter Grenier and Douglas Fierberg, representing a number of the families, said in a statement that it ensured "that seriously injured victims will be well compensated and have their life-long health care needs taken care of forever".

A permanent memorial to those killed at Virginia Tech on 16 April 2007
A permanent memorial to those killed has been put up at Virginia Tech

They went on: "Families who lost loved ones will be similarly compensated and cared for."

The families have agreed to waive their rights to sue the state of Virginia as part of the agreement, the lawyers said.

The statement also indicated that further information about the events of 16 April 2007 would be released as a result of the settlement.

Twenty-three-year-old Cho, who was mentally ill, killed 32 people and himself in what was the deadliest shooting spree in modern US history.

The events of that day prompted Congress last year to pass the first major gun legislation since 1994, improving background checks on buyers.


SEE ALSO
US passes tighter gun checks law
20 Dec 07 |  Americas
Virginia failures 'must be fixed'
30 Aug 07 |  Americas
Cho fits pattern of campus killers
19 Apr 07 |  Americas
US college faulted over massacre
30 Aug 07 |  Americas
Virginia shootings: The victims
19 Apr 07 |  Americas

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