Pennsylvania State University trustees have reportedly approved a settlement of up to
$60 million to be paid to men who claim they were victimized by convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky.
The Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa. reported last week that Ted Brown, one of the newest members of Penn State’s board of Trustees, confirmed the multi-million-dollar settlement figure.
While the number of claimants was not immediately known, previous news reports have pegged the figure to be somewhere in the mid-20s.
Both the Legal Intelligencer and the Wall Street Journal had earlier reported the settlement announcement, although those publications had cited unnamed sources in their respective reporting.
The announcement came about a week after the trustees authorized the school to make settlement offers to a number of the claimants, all of whom allege they were sexually abused by Sandusky while they were minors.
David LaTorre, a Penn State spokesman, told the Pennsylvania Record that the university does not comment on specific dollar amounts in settlement matters.
He referred a reporter to a statement released by Penn State earlier this month in which the university’s trustees approved of the resolution authorizing the school to make settlement offers to the claimants.
“This authorization is limited to offers recommended by the board’s Legal Subcommittee – an arm of the board’s Legal and Compliance Committee – within a range of dollar values described to the board in a confidential, attorney-client privileged session,” the statement read. “Given the sensitivity of the process, University officials will have no further comment until the settlements have been finalized and mutually acceptable settlement agreements are executed and delivered.
“No settlement agreements have been signed and the discussions with counsel for the various individuals remain confidential,” the statement continued. “Penn State has no definitive timetable set for the signed agreements, but officials hope to conclude the process with the majority of the claimants within the next several weeks.”
Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team, is serving a 30-to-60-year state prison sentence for molesting 10 underage boys over a period of a decade-and-a-half.
Penn State had earlier retained the services of attorneys Kenneth Feinberg and Michael Rozen, of the firm Feinberg Rozen, to help mediate the civil claims with the victims’ attorneys.
The legal team was involved with helping to facilitate settlements in high profile cases such as the civil fallout from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Thomas Kline, a lawyer with the Philadelphia firm Kline & Spector, who is representing one of Sandusky’s victims, had previously been quoted in the media saying that Penn State trustees’ recent action authorizing the settlement payment to some victims was a step in the right direction.
Sandusky, who was convicted a year ago of 45 counts of child sex-abuse, has continued to maintain his innocence.
His lawyers are in the process of appealing their client’s conviction and sentence.