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Penn State liability may top $100 million

July 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa., July 16 (UPI) -- Penn State's legal liability in Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse case, detailed last week, could reach $100 million or more, plaintiffs' lawyers say.

Even before the release of a damaging report by investigative counsel Louis Freeh, explaining the former assistant coach's predatory sexual activities and administrators' attempts to hide them, the University faced lawsuits from Sandusky's victims, and given the 14-year duration of the cover-ups, the school's exposure could reach $100 million or more, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday.

"This is a lot worse than what I anticipated, said Chicago-based lawyer Andrew Stoltmann. "The risks for Penn State in going through discovery [the legal request for more evidence] and leaving a decision in the hands of a jury could be cataclysmic."

Additional victims will likely come forward and plaintiffs' lawyers will subpoena university records and place senior officials under oath, tactics designed to pressure defendants and obtain more favorable settlements, the newspaper said, noting that the scandal has comparisons to litigation following disclosures that catholic priests across America had sexually molested children.

"It's just another case in which men who were in power took no steps to protect children but took all necessary steps to protect the institution. They exhibited depraved indifference to the welfare of children," said Marci Hamilton, an attorney representing a client who says he was abused by Sandusky.

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