Penn State made promises to the victims of Jerry Sandusky's abuse. President Rodney Erickson repeatedly said he wanted to quickly and adequately compensate them in a fair and quiet manner.
Erickson said it was to spare the victims the indignity of additional public trials. And likely to spare Penn State the continual indignity of what would be said in those trials about what the university did and failed to do in the sordid sex abuse case.
But attorneys for several victims say the university has been silent.
"We've heard for quite some time now that Penn State was gonna try to resolve these cases," said Harrisburg attorney Ben Andreozzi, who represents Victim 4. "We haven't seen Penn State take any action to try to resolve those cases. So we have to go in guns ablazing and do everything we can to protect our clients."
Andreozzi is preparing for Victim 4's civil suit and says he's "excited" to bring it before a jury. Victim 4 was abused for several years by Sandusky from the mid-90's to early 2000's. He was repeatedly assaulted on Penn State property and at a bowl game in Texas.
"We're not gonna just bite at something they dangle in front of us," Andreozzi said. "It's not that simple."
It won't be simple and it won't be cheap. Andreozzi says there will be costs associated with counseling and therapy and there will be a punitive penalty to "send Penn State a message."
"This happened over the course of years. It's something Penn State knew about and failed to take action. So this has gotta be a serious significant recovery," Andreozzi said.
According to a recent report, victims of clergy abuse in Philadelphia averaged settlements of about $3 million. Andreozzi expects Penn State will have to pay much more than that. He said there will be a punitive multiplier "to account for the absolutely reckless behavior at Penn State."
If there is no contact with the university, Andreozzi says a civil suit will be filed early next year. He said Victim 4 will absolutely sue the school, and may sue Jerry Sandusky and his Second Mile charity.
He said suing Sandusky would enable him to go behind bars and conduct a jailhouse deposition, which could be cathartic for his client.
"Set up video cameras and record a deposition where he'd have to answer under oath questions that we posed to him," he said. "This is one of the non-monetary ways we're able to get closure for our clients."
Penn State spokesman David LaTorre responded to Andreozzi's criticism with a prepared statement that read, "The University has had multiple conversations with Mr. Andreozzi and other lawyers representing individual victims of Mr. Sandusky. This is the "beginning" of a very complex process involving multiple interested parties. The University remains committed to resolving the victims claims in a fair manner that also respects their privacy."
abc27 News also reached out to the Philadelphia law firm of Ross, Feller, Casey, which represents victims 2, 3, 7, and 10. It echoed Andreozzi's claims and said it has not heard from Penn State officials about a settlement.
It's possible that Penn State wants to keep its promise of a speedy settlement, but with so many victims and so many lawyers, it might not be possible.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 6:13 PM EDT2013-06-19 22:13:11 GMT
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