Penn State negotiators have made “substantial progress” in the settlement process between the university and those who say they were sexually abused by former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, Penn State’s lawyer Kenneth Feinberg said.
Feinberg, of Feinberg Rozen LLP, said there are now about 28 individual claimants discussing possible settlement talks. With some lawyers representing multiple claimants, Feinberg said there are about a dozen lawyers representing the 28 individuals.
“I have my fingers crossed that we can complete these discussions in the next 30 to 45 days,” Feinberg said.
Sandusky was convicted in June on 45 counts of sexually abusing children. He was sentenced in October to serve 30 to 60 years in prison.
The negotiators have not reached the end of any of the settlement talks, and some are closer to being finished than others, Feinberg said. None of the claimants have pulled out of the talks either, though some lawyers are more involved than others, Feinberg said.
Feinberg also said that the goal is for the talks to move on somewhat “parallel tracks” and conclude around the same time.
Though Feinberg said the goal is for all the talks to end at about the same time, some of the other lawyers in the process have said they are at very different ends of the process.
Slade McLaughlin, who represents the person referred to as “Victim 1” as well as several other claimants, said via email that he has had “numerous” meetings with Feinberg and negotiations are still underway.
“They have moved the case forward towards settlement,” McLaughlin said.
Other lawyers representing claimants, such as Mitchell Garabedian, are not as close to a settlement.
Garabedian represents a man who said he was molested by Sandusky in 1988 when he was 16 years old. The man did not testify during Sandusky’s criminal trial in June.
Garabedian said the extent of his client’s settlement conversation has been one introductory meeting about a month ago. His client’s talks will continue, but another meeting has yet to be scheduled, Garabedian said.
With regard to whether the details of concluded settlements will be published, Garabedian said they are too early in the process to think about it.
Feinberg said there will likely be some kind of public announcement by Penn State or the individual lawyers when the talks conclude, however the details will likely remain confidential.