Commonwealth v. PetersonAnnotate this Case
After the mass shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2007, the administrators of the estates of two of the victims of the shooting filed wrongful death suits against the Commonwealth, claiming that the Commonwealth was liable for the actions of the Commonwealth's employees at the university pursuant to the Virginia Tort Claims Act. Specifically, the administrators claimed that a special relationship existed between the Commonwealth's employees at the university and the victims that gave rise to the Commonwealth's duty to warn the victims of third party criminal acts. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Administrators. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, without deciding that a special relationship existed between the Commonwealth and the university students, no duty to warn students of harm by a third party criminal arose under the circumstances of this case.