The Penn State Board of Trustees will meet today to discuss a resolution that would authorize the Subcommittee on Legal to approve settlements in lawsuits filed by those abused by Jerry Sandusky.
Board members will convene at 5 p.m. at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, or call into the meeting by phone, to decide on the resolution. The Committee on Audit and Risk will convene earlier in the morning, according the schedule.
Penn State Spokesman David La Torre wrote in an email that the university cannot comment on pending litigation, but they are taking the cases very seriously.
“President Erickson and the Board of Trustees have publicly emphasized that their goal is to find solutions that rest on the principle of justice for the victims,” he wrote.
Michael Boni, attorney for Aaron Fisher, the person referred to as “Victim 1,” said his client is one of the 20 men currently in negotiations with Penn State and that their talks are in preliminary stages at this point.
Boni said the discussions are extremely confidential and that he could not explain even the most general parts of the process.
With the university deciding to retain attorneys Kenneth R. Feinberg and Michael K. Rozen for the settlement talks, Boni said this showed a “severe desire to try to resolve these cases.”
Boni said he was not aware of what the board would achieve at the special meeting, but he said he and his client are willing to continue the negotiations.
“It was a good first step and we are cautiously optimistic that the talks will bear fruit,” he said.
Tom Kline, an attorney for the person referred to as “Victim 5,” wrote in an email that his client is also one of the 20 men in settlement talks. Kline explained that he has met with Rozen “on a number of occasions” to negotiate. Their discussions have included the liability of Penn State and the specifics of his client’s claims, he wrote.
He also explained that Rozen has been “proactive in reaching out to counsel for the Sandusky victims.”
Kline explained he does not expect the board to approve any settlements on Friday, but to give authority to the subcommittee to authorize the approval of the settlements.
Student trustee Peter Khoury declined comment. Trustee Keith Eckel and Chairwoman of the Board Karen Peetz could not be reached for comment.