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Board of Trustees Approve Resolution Regarding Legal Claims

by on October 26, 2012 6:17 PM

In a short meeting on Friday afternoon, the Penn State Board of Trustees voted to authorize a subcommittee of the board to approve possible settlements of claims levied against Penn State in the wake of Jerry Sandusky's sex crimes coming to light. 

In passing the motion, the Subcommitee on Legal, an arm of the board's Committee on Legal and Compliance, now has the right to approve settlements that may be reached related to claims made against Penn State by individuals who have said through attorneys that the university is, in part, liable for the abuse they suffered at the hands of Sandusky.

Penn State retained the firm of Feinberg Rozen LLP to help facilitate any such settlements. Both men were at the brief board meeting and said that there is no guarantee the 20-25 claims made against the university will all be settled. That number could also go up or down.

At this point, Feinberg and Rozen have made contact with each attorney for individuals who have said they are victims of Sandusky. They said at the meeting on Friday that they are continuing to move that process forward, though did not elaborate as to whether any attorneys are prepared to settle or adversely, want to go to trial.

Feinberg Rozen has received national recognition for helping to resolve mass litigation arising out of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007.

Little discussion was had at the public meeting, as a private executive session was held prior to the 5 p.m. meeting at the Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel. Trustee Anthony Lubrano did address the board, to say that his opinion had been reversed. 

"I was prepared not to support the motion before I arrived today,"  Lubrano said. " ... I just want you all to know I'm going to."

Board Chairwoman Karen Peetz said Trustee and former Penn State football player Adam Taliaferro was invited to serve as an extra member on the Subcommittee on Legal, should his schedule permit it.

While there may be up to 25 claims, Feinberg and Rozen said they have begun speaking with the 20 men who have said they were sexually abused by Sandusky. The claims include eight men who testified during Sandusky's June trial, three others who have filed lawsuits, and at least nine others who have come forward through counsel, either privately or publicly, with allegations of abuse.   

Sandusky, 68, was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison on Oct. 9 for his nearly two decades of sex crimes against boys. 

The board will hold its next regular meeting on Nov. 16.



Laura Nichols is a StateCollege.com news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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