Virginia Tech Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit Involving Student Suicide

Virginia Tech has settled a wrongful death lawsuit by a family whose son, a student at the University, committed suicide. The settlement includes $200,000 to be paid to the family of Daniel Sun Kim, as well as a $100,000 scholarship fund that will be established in his name at the university.

On December 9, 2007, Kim was found in his car in a parking lot, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. According to friends, he had been talking about his intention of killing himself, and had even purchased a gun. One of his friends was concerned enough to inform university officials about Kim’s suicidal tendencies. The university was also informed that he had purchased a gun. When university officials questioned Kim however, he denied any plans for suicide.

Officials should have probed the matter further, especially when a university counselor recommended that Kim be brought in for discussion. Matters ended right there however, and the following month, Kim shot himself.

His family was never informed either about his suicidal tendencies, or the fact that the university had investigated him and his plans to kill himself. After he died, his family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Virginia Tech, claiming $4 million in damages, and alleging that the university should have followed its own protocols to intervene in his case.

Now, as part of the settlement, the university will establish a memorial plaque honoring Kim on campus. Virginia Tech will also adopt a new policy under which parents and guardians of children, who have suicidal tendencies, will be informed about their children’s behavior.

No amount of compensation can ever make up for the loss of a loved one. However, a California wrongful death lawyer can help survivors of persons killed by the negligence of others to recover compensation that can lessen their financial strain.