Pennsylvania State University announced Thursday that it has retained the Washington,
D.C.-based law firm of Feinberg Rozen LLP to help facilitate the possible settlement of all outstanding personal injury claims arising out of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.
“It is anticipated that the facilitation effort will take place over a concentrated, three-month period in the hope that all outstanding and anticipated litigation can be resolved by the end of the year,” read a statement posted to the university’s website.
In the statement, Penn State President Rodney Erickson was quoted as saying that in retaining Feinberg Rozen, the school is seeking to “make sure we do the right thing in terms of providing a just outcome for the victims. We hope to enable a process that will result in settlement of many of the civil cases so that the victims will not have to be drawn through legal process.”
Sandusky, 69, was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 young boys during a 15-year time period.
The former assistant football coach for the Penn State Nittany Lions was convicted of 45 of the 48 counts of child sex-abuse against him during a two-week jury trial at the Centre County Court of Common Pleas.
Sandusky, who has been held in custody since the verdict earlier this summer, is scheduled to be sentenced early next month.
Given the number of combined years he is facing, Sandusky is expected to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
After the criminal trial commenced, attorneys for some of Sandusky’s victims began filing civil actions against the former defensive coordinator, Penn State and The Second Mile, a youth charity started by Sandusky in the late 1970s.
Attorneys Kenneth R. Feinberg and Michael K. Rozen will make themselves available to help Penn State, as well as Sandusky’s victims and their lawyers, in terms of possibly settling the outstanding civil claims, the university said in its statement.
“We have been retained by Penn State to help both the University and individuals alleging sexual abuse reach a voluntary settlement in those individual cases where terms and conditions can be agreed upon,” Feinberg said in a statement. “We are not administering a compensation fund and have no binding authority to compel a settlement.
“We will merely facilitate the effort and only in those cases where individuals and their lawyers are so inclined,” Feinberg continued. “Having managed similar cases in the past we are confident we can help all parties involved in this matter and are pleased to have been selected for such an important role.”
Feinberg Rozen has received national recognition for helping to resolve the mass litigation arising out of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill incident, the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings and the Massey coal mine explosion in West Virginia in 2010, according to the university’s announcement.