Penn State nears settlement deal in lawsuit by Sandusky sexual abuse victims

by Eric Pearson

Penn State University recently announced that it has reached tentative settlement agreements with the victims of childhood sexual abuse committed by former football coach Jerry Sandusky. The school does not plan to comment on specifics until the deals are made final, which could happen in the coming weeks. University president Rodney Erickson called getting approval for settlement offers “another important step toward the resolution of claims from Sandusky’s victims.”

Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of 48 counts in his child sex abuse trial. Now aged 69, Sandusky was convicted a year ago of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including violent attacks on boys inside school facilities. He is currently serving a 30- to 60-year prison term.

More than 30 victims have come forward with sexual abuse allegations involving the longtime assistant to late head coach Joe Paterno. The settlements will be limited to a specified range of dollar values and subject to final approval by a committee empowered by the board to handle the claims. A university spokesman said the school plans to release the total amount it pays to settle the lawsuits but will not provide amounts for individual cases.

Board chairman Keith Masser said it was part of getting past the scandal and the collateral damage it has done to the university. “We’re just chipping away at getting these issues behind us,” Masser said. “As we have previously said, the university intends to deal with these individuals in a fair and expeditious manner, with due regard to their privacy,” PSU President Rodney Erickson said in a statement issued after the university’s Board of Trustees approved a settlement resolution.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson can help victims of childhood sexual abuse

If you or a friend or loved one has been the victim of childhood sexual abuse, you need to speak to a lawyer about your potential legal rights. You need an experienced and knowledgeable law firm that can guide you through the legal process and obtain maximum compensation on your behalf. Our lawyers approach every case with the assumption it will be tried to a jury. Whether it’s hiring the right experts, obtaining the necessary records, interviewing the key witnesses or helping our clients get the medical care they need, our meticulous attention to detail ensures that our clients achieve maximum value for their claim.

In addition, Heygood, Orr & Pearson is AV-rated, the highest legal and ethical rating available from the leading law firm rating service. Our partners Michael Heygood, Jim Orr, and Eric Pearson are all Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Heygood and Mr. Orr are additionally Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our partners been voted by their peers as “Super Lawyers” in the state of Texas for several years in a row.*

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Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson were selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication, for the years 2003 through 2013.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.