Penn State, Insurer Settle Fight That Revealed Sandusky Scandal Details

September 26, 2016

Penn State has settled a court fight with its insurer over payments to victims of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, a case that revealed new allegations about how early late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew of accusations against his assistant coach.

A one-page document filed with a Philadelphia court on Thursday stated the action against the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Company was settled.

Terms of the deal and the amount of payment are confidential by mutual consent, a Penn State spokeswoman said in an email Friday.

As part of the legal tussle over whether the insurer would have to cover Sandusky-related claims, both sides obtained sworn depositions from key witnesses and other documents that hadn’t previously become public.

The presiding judge, after requests from The Associated Press and other media outlets, released some of that information in July.

Among the notable new revelations were allegations Paterno fielded a complaint about Sandusky in 1976. The documents include portions of the accuser’s deposition in 2014 saying Paterno, when told that a boy had been molested, responded that he didn’t want to hear about it and had “a football season to worry about.”

A Paterno family lawyer has lambasted the allegations, saying they are untrue and impossible to prove.

Penn State made $92 million in total payouts to settle 32 civil claims in the Sandusky sex molestation scandal, and sued to have the insurer cover them.

In May, a judge found that Penn State had to assume the costs of settlements stemming from claims over most of the 1990s because its insurance policies did not cover abuse or molestation.

When Sandusky abused children at his home or at events held by the children’s charity he started, “he was still a PSU assistant coach and professor, and clothed in the glory associated with those titles, particularly in the eyes of impressionable children,” Judge Gary Glazer wrote.

“By cloaking him with a title that enabled him to perpetuate his crimes, PSU must assume some responsibility for what he did both on and off campus,” he said.

Sandusky was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys. He is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term.

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