Blankingship & Keith Plays Integral Role in Securing $9 Million Settlement in UVa Shooting Cases

On Friday May 31, 2024, a Virginia trial court approved settlements of three wrongful death claims against the University of Virginia arising from the tragic shooting of five UVa students on November 13, 2022. The University agreed to pay $9,000,000 to the families of 3 young men who died and two students who survived.  Blankingship & Keith is honored to have worked with co-counsel from the Haggard firm in Miami and the Cantor, Grana, Bucker firm in Richmond, to secure justice for three of the victims – the family of D’Sean Perry, a remarkable young man, and for the two courageous students who survived the shooting.

Chidi James, partner at Blankingship & Keith stated, "While financial compensation cannot replace the lives lost and futures derailed, it is our hope that it provides some measure of justice and support for those affected."

An external review of the incident, requested by university leadership, has been delayed until after the trial of the alleged shooter, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., to avoid influencing the jury or hindering the prosecution. UVa President Jim Ryan stated that a redacted version of the report will be made public once the criminal proceedings are complete.

Families of the victims are calling for the immediate release of the independent investigation into the shooting. Blankingship & Keith partner Peter Everett commented, "We are hoping that some good will arise from this tragedy, as we work with the University of Virginia to strengthen the protection of students from gun violence at UVa, with the goal that reforms UVa adopts will set new standards for protecting college students across the country. We believe that making the findings of the independent investigation public is essential for fostering a safer environment for all students and ensuring that such tragedies are prevented in the future."