Penn State Settles With Insurer Over Sandusky Settlements

by Geoff Rushton

The court battle has ended between Penn State and its insurer over who was responsible for more than $90 million in settlements for claims of child sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky.

In a one-page filing in Philadelphia County court on Thursday, attorneys for Penn State wrote on behalf of the university and Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Insurance that the parties had reached a settlement. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

The university reached settlements with 32 individuals who claimed they were abused by former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Penn State had said it expected insurance to cover the claims, and sued PMA in 2013 to receive payment. But in May, Judge Gary Glazer ruled that an abuse and molestation exclusion in insurance policies between 1992-99 bars Penn State from insurance coverage for claims from that time period. About a third of the claims were from that period, according to court documents.

Sandusky was convicted in 2012 on 45 counts related to child sexual abuse. He retired from Penn State in 1999, but some victims and accusers have said he abused them in Penn State facilities.

Unsealed documents from the Penn State insurance case revealed claims of abuse dating back to the 1970s. In two depositions, individuals claiming abuse alleged they told Coach Joe Paterno of instances of abuse by Sandusky in the 1970s. Others claimed that assistant coaches and athletic department staff were aware of abuse by Sandusky in the 1980s and early 1990s. None of those cases were involved in Sandusky’s trial and one case was described as “double and triple hearsay” by former state Solicitor General Bruce Castor.

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