A US jury found Virginia Tech university guilty of negligence for failing to quickly alert students during a 2007 shooting spree in which 33 people died, a court source said.
The parents of two victims in the shooting had filed a civil complaint against the university alleging that the university's slow response time could have saved their children's lives.
Jurors allowed four million dollars to be paid to each family, but a Virginia statue capped the awards against the state at $100,000 for each complainant.
"While we, like all citizens of the commonwealth, share in the sorrow of all those who lost family members in the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting tragedy, we are disappointed with today's verdict," said the university in a statement.
"The uncontradicted evidence presented at trial established that it was the unanimous decision of three law enforcement agencies that the mass shooting was simply not foreseeable," it added.
Virginia Tech was the scene of the worst school shooting in US history when Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old Virginia Tech student born in South Korea, shot to death 32 fellow classmates and teachers before killing himself.
An investigation by the US Department of Education had already ruled in 2010 that the university broke US law by taking too long to notify students of the dangers on the campus.
The institution was also last year fined $55,000 for failing to alert students in time of the gunman's presence on campus.
The university took more than two hours to issue an alert to campus students, faculty and staff after the first two people were shot and killed on April 16, 2007.
The first shooting incident occurred at about 7:15 am; the second began at 9:40 am. A campus email was not sent out to students and staff until 9:26 am urging caution due to a "shooting on campus."
Shortly after the first deadly shootings, 23-year-old Cho had mailed a package containing video clips, photos and a handwritten manifesto to NBC News.
He then made his way to a university building where he chained shut the doors and shot dead 30 people inside.