Trustees Plan Oct. 26 Meeting to Grant Authority for Legal Settlements
By Lisa Powers, Penn State
UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State’s Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Friday, Oct. 26, at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel to consider a resolution to authorize a subcommittee of the Board to approve possible settlements of claims made against the University related to the crimes of Jerry Sandusky.
The special board meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. in room 108, will be preceded earlier in the day by an executive session at 4 p.m. Trustees can participate by phone or in person.
At the full board meeting, trustees will discuss giving the Subcommittee on Legal — an arm of the board’s Committee on Legal and Compliance — the authority to approve settlements that may be reached related to claims against the University by individuals alleging that Penn State is liable for injuries suffered in connection with sexual abuse by Sandusky. The former assistant coach was convicted on June 22 of the abuse of 10 boys and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson has said the University would reach out to victims to resolve claims against the University, and the law firm of Feinberg Rozen LLP was retained to help facilitate any 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 the University.
Kenneth R. Feinberg and Michael K. Rozen said they have reached out to begin settlement talks with at least 20 men who accuse Sandusky of sexual abuse. The claims include eight people who testified for the prosecution of Sandusky, 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 Nov. 16 at University Park.