Tag Archives: Penn State Liability

4 Reasons Why Gov. Corbett’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against The NCAA Is On Shaky Ground

[Third Update, June 6, 2013: Judge Kane has dismissed the lawsuit. Here's the order, concluding: The Governor’s complaint implicates the extraordinary power of a non-governmental entity to dictate the course of an iconic public institution, and raises serious questions about the indirect economic impact of NCAA sanctions on innocent parties. These are important questions deserving of public debate, but they are not antitrust questions. In another forum the complaint’s appeal to equity and common sense may win the day, but in the antitrust world these arguments fail to advance the ball. Plaintiff’s complaint fails on all prongs: it fails to ... Continue Reading

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The Legal Effect of Paterno’s Death

In less than three months, Joe Paterno went from one of the most revered figures in sports and a Pennsylvania institution to being implicated in a scandal, terminated from the job he had held for generations, and excoriated by the media to a historical figure who is no longer with us. He passed away over the weekend at the age of 85. A memento mori indeed. I did not attend Penn State, so I'll leave the remembrances to others. Paterno died, however, amidst a national scandal, two criminal prosecutions, and likely more than a dozen civil lawsuits to be filed. ... Continue Reading

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Sandusky Civil Law Update: Insurance, New Lawsuit, and the Preliminary Hearing

My post on the potential civil lawsuits arising from the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal at PSU still generates a fair amount of traffic, mostly from people looking for updates on the latest legal developments. If the internet asks, it shall receive. There have been four major developments relating to the case: A preliminary hearing for the criminal charges against Tim Curley and Gary Schultz; The filing of another civil lawsuit against Sandusky, Penn State, and The Second Mile; The filing of a declaratory judgment action by Federal Insurance Company of New Jersey, the insurance company for The Second Mile, to obtain a ... Continue Reading

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Do Paterno And Spanier Have Golden Parachutes At Penn State?

The Sandusky child molestation scandal at Penn State continues to be the biggest legal news in Pennsylvania. One lawsuit against Penn State and the Second Mile has already been filed, presumably because the victim was either nearing, or had already passed, the statute of limitations. A civil lawsuit can be filed at any point after a criminal act, though in that case the civil litigation is usually put on hold until the criminal case is finished. I've already discussed most of the issues in the cases that could be filed by sexual abuse survivors in my previous post, linked above, ... Continue Reading

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Corporations: It’s Our Fault, But You’ll Have To Pay

[Update: June 23, 2012: In the wake of Sandusky's guilty verdict, Penn State has changed its tune, and has indicated a willingness to discuss settlement. Reuters has an article that quotes me.] Whenever a corporation is caught causing a catastrophe — an oil company that destroys an ecosystem through shoddy maintenance, a drug manufacturer that sells a drug which they know causes cancer, et cetera — the corporate entity goes through a three-stage public relations process to avoid responsibility. First, there's denial. Nothing happened and if it did happen it's not so bad. Second, there's phony regret. It's not our fault, ... Continue Reading

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Colleges and Universities Start To Take Campus Rape Seriously (We Hope)

The fallout from the child molestation scandal at Penn State continues with a thousand articles saying roughly the same thing and a handful of in-depth reports, like Sports Illustrated’s This is Penn State piece, which explains a lot about what Happy Valley was like: Outgoing, accessible (his home phone number is in the campus directory) and philanthropic, Paterno was the benevolent despot. But he was a despot nonetheless. Org chart be damned—unlike Schultz and Curley, Paterno is not classified as a senior staff member—he ran the place. "He built this university, he built this town, and everybody knows it," says ... Continue Reading

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Law Professors: Check Legal Blogs Before Adding Your Two Cents

The big legal news in Pennsylvania last week was of course the indictment of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky for allegedly sexually abusing at least eight children on or around Penn State. Being a civil litigator who has sued universities and has represented victims of sexual abuse on college campuses, I felt compelled to say something, so I wrote about Penn State's potential liability in civil lawsuits brought by the victims. I reviewed and cited cases and statutes; you know, the stuff lawyers do when they want to get things right. Then I read the news today, oh, ... Continue Reading

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Can Sandusky’s Sexual Abuse Victims Sue Penn State?

[UPDATE, July 12, 2012: The independent report by Louis Freeh's law firm has been released. It is damning, to say the least, concluding there was a "total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims." Blame is rightfully heaped upon Paterno, Spanier, Curley, and Schultz.] [UPDATE, June 22, 2012: Jerry Sandusky was convicted on almost all counts. Reuters quoted me talking about the effect of the prosecution and conviction on the civil lawsuits pre-verdict here and post-verdict here. Short version: Penn State, as I had hoped, is signaling their ... Continue Reading

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