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Mike McQueary Awarded $7.3 Million In Damages By Penn State

After eight days of testimony in the McQueary v. Penn State trial, the jury decided in favor of McQueary on defamation and misrepresentation by Penn State. McQueary will be awarded a total of $7.3 million in damages.

McQueary filed the lawsuit against Penn State after he was reportedly unable to find employment as a football coach or in any other profession following the fallout of the Sandusky scandal. He was key in Jerry Sandusky’s eventual conviction because he witnessed Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in a locker room of the Lasch Building in 2001.

Here’s a quick rundown of what the jury decided on today:

  1. Defamation: McQueary claimed a statement Penn State released from former President Graham Spanier damaged his reputation and inhibited his ability to gain further employment, as a football coach or otherwise.
  2. Misrepresentation: McQueary claimed Tim Curley and Gary Schultz told him the 2001 incident would be properly investigated when he reported it to them, therefore he did not feel the need to report it further. McQueary said Curley and Schultz misrepresented to him what actions they would take on the matter.

Of the damages awarded to McQueary, $1.15 million is compensatory for defamation, while $5 million is punitive for the misrepresentation claim.

McQueary and all attorneys left the Centre County courthouse in Bellefonte Thursday evening without commenting on the verdict of the case.

Judge Thomas Gavin is expected to rule on McQueary’s final Whistleblower claim next week. McQueary claims Penn State fired him for cooperating with the Attorney General’s Office in its investigation of Sandusky, stating the university retaliated against him by denying him the opportunity to interview with O’Brien. Penn State maintains McQueary was simply not needed on O’Brien’s coaching staff, therefore his contract was not renewed when it expired.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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