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Board of Trustees Meeting on Friday to Discuss Civil Suits

by on October 25, 2012 4:30 PM

Three weeks before the next regular meeting, the Penn State Board of Trustees convenes on Friday for another 'special meeting' at the Penn Stater where they may authorize a subcommittee of the board to approve possible settlements of claims made against the university related to Jerry Sandusky's sex crimes.

The meeting is scheduled to begin 5 p.m. in room 108 of the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center and fill follow a 4 p.m. executive session in which trustees can join via phone or in person, per Penn State Live.

Trustees will discuss giving the Subcommittee on Legal the authority to approve settlements that may be reached related to claims against the 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.

The subcommittee is an arm of the board's Committee on Legal and Compliance.

Sandusky, 68, was convicted on June 22 on 45 of 48 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period and was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison on Oct. 9.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson has said the university would reach out to victims to resolve their claims. Since then, the law firm, Feinberg Rozen LLP was retained to help facilitate any such settlements. 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.

If the resolution is approved by the board, the legal subcommittee would be able to provide oversight and enable a process where the University can privately, expeditiously and fairly address the victims' concerns and compensate them for claims against Penn State, university officials said. 

Kenneth R. Feinberg and Michael K. Rozen said they have reached out to begin settlement talks with at least 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.

The board's next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Nov. 16.

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