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May 09, 2016

Judge Rejects Penn St. Insurance Claims on Sandusky Abuse

A judge has rejected Pennsylvania State University’s claim that its insurer should cover all of the nearly $100 million in settlements the college has paid out to 32 accusers of Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach who was convicted in 2012 of serial sexual abuse of children, The New York Times writes.

Judge Gary Glazer of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas ruled Thursday that Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance was liable for settlements stemming from abuse that occurred before 1992 but not for claims dating from 1992 to 1999 — a period that accounts for many of the accusations against Mr. Sandusky, according to Tom Kline, a lawyer for one of the victims. Settlements in cases since 1999 will be subject to trial.

Many of the boys Mr. Sandusky is accused of molesting encountered him through the Second Mile, a now-defunct charity started by the then-coach to help at-risk youth. The charity frequently used Penn State athletic facilities, leading to questions about when and to what extent campus leaders and the late, once-revered head football coach Joe Paterno became aware of abuse. Last week's court decision could mean a big financial setback for Penn State, which has said settlements would be paid by insurance rather than through tuition revenue, taxpayer funds, or donations.