Virginia Tech Settles Student Suicide Wrongful Death Case

The Commonwealth of Virginia, on behalf of Virginia Tech University, settled a 2009 wrongful death lawsuit brought by the parents of student Daniel Kim, in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

The gravamen of the case was the failure of the VTU "Care Team" counselors to take any action after an e-mail, warning of potential suicidal thoughts or tendencies, was sent to them by a friend of the decedent.

The university did not make any attempt to contact or speak with Kim, nor did not notify his parents of the potentially ominous e-mail warning concerning their son.

The commonwealth will pay the parents $250,000 and establish a scholorship in Kim's name. The university will change its policy on "parental notification" of students suspected of being suicidal.

Kim apparently became increasingly despondent as a result of the April 16, 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech. He felt that his looks closely resembled those of the notorious shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, and therefore, people connected him with that horror. He became self-conscious of his ethnicity, and "was ashamed of being Asian".

His suicide on December 8, 2007, was eight months after the massacre.