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Sandusky victims' settlements continue

Dec. 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Financial settlements to victims of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky will not be resolved soon, attorneys on both sides of the issue say.

Talks between the school, whose current president, Rodney Erickson, promised in September a "just outcome for the victims" after Sandusky was convicted on child sexual abuse charges, and 24 Sandusky accusers continue, with thorny questions about the school's responsibility, appropriate compensation and whether any dollar amount can make up for years of emotional turmoil, the Philadelphia Inquirer said Monday.

"It's not one of those things where you plug A, B and C into a calculator and it spits out an amount. Our goal is to focus on what each specific client needs in order to find closure," said Ben Andreozzi, an attorney representing several accusers.

Penn State has turned to one of the nation's top civil mediators, Kenneth R. Feinberg, who has presided over settlements including the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech and the 2010 BP oil spill, the newspaper reported.

"This is a market-driven process," Feinberg said in an interview. "Plaintiffs will demand one thing, defendants are willing to give up another. My job is to present them with facts that can justify them meeting in the middle."

Unlike those earlier incidents, the young men abused by Sandusky can point to no long-term physical damage or economic loss, the newspaper noted.

"These things are not easy to sort out. There is no doubt that there's a heavier subjective component," said Thomas Kline, attorney for the plaintiff identified in court proceedings as Victim 5.

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