Penn State Still in Early Stages of Talks Regarding Victims’ Claims, Attorney Says
The attorney for one of the men Jerry Sandusky was convicted of abusing said Penn State has been more proactive in settling civil litigation with his client since the university retained a law firm that dealt with litigation in the wake of events such as Sept. 11, the BP oil spill and the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings.
Tom Kline, the attorney for the man known as Victim 5 who testified he was sexually abused in a school shower in 2001, had been outspoken last month that Penn State wasn’t acting swiftly in attempting to settle these claims. Since then, he’s taken a much different tone, saying Penn State has acted sincerely by hiring the law firm of Feinberg Rozen, LLP.
The university announced the hire on Sept. 20. Within a week, Kline said, he met with Michael Rozen to start the negotiation process. Discussions are still in their preliminary stages, and Kline said he was not aware of any talks in any case reaching the point of valuation yet. Penn State has said it hopes to settle all civil litigation by the end of the year.
Kline declined to comment on how much his client is seeking. Penn State isn’t commenting on the specifics on the negotiations either.
“Our discussions have not gone down the road far enough to make a true assessment of where we might end up,” Kline said.
Penn State has said it will not use tuition money, state appropriations or private donations to settle any claims, but rather will use other internal funds and insurance.
Sandusky, 68, was sentenced to 30-60 years in a state prison on Tuesday after being convicted on 45 of 48 counts in a child sex abuse case.