Onward State: Penn State, Insurer To Duke It Out In Philadelphia
Penn State suffers a legal setback in its lawsuit against the insurance company involved in the Jerry Sandusky Scandal. The University wants the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Insurance Company to pay for the Sandusky victim settlements. The Commonwealth Superior Court now says the case will be heard in Philadelphia County* and not in Centre County.[PDF story].
Since the end of 2011, University President Rodney Erickson has claimed that Penn State’s liability insurance would cover settlements with Jerry Sandusky’s victims. However, in January 2012, the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Company (PMA), declared that “it believed its obligation under the policy to defend and indemnify Penn State was more limited than Penn State had claimed”. PMA filed its claim in Philadelphia County. The University filed a countersuit in Centre County and accused PMA of acting in bad faith.
in February 2012, PMA attempted to resolve the lawsuits in Philadelphia. Penn State responded by saying the cases had minimal ties to the Delaware Valley. After the case was heard in Appeals Court and the legal system ruled in PMA’s favor, the matter made its way to the Superior Court. That court supported earlier decisions that “PMA filed its action with the Philadelphia Commerce Court Program, which specializes in such actions, and thus would be a more efficient venue than the Centre County courts.” The Superior Court also refuted other claims that Penn State has made to move its case against PMA to Cente County.
In a concurring opinion Judge Strassburger indicated that because many Centre County judges have had strong ties to Penn State and possibly the Second Mile, it would be better to have the case heard in Philadelphia County.
*Philadelphia County shares the same land as the City of Philadelphia.