The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has ruled that Penn State’s lawsuit against Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Company — its primary general liability insurer — will take place in Philadelphia County, according to court documents.
In a document filed by Judge Eugene Strassburger, he wrote there were “a number of factors” for the move, citing two reasons that “deserve mention” — one of which pertained to John Doe A’s counsel being stationed in Philadelphia.
According to the lawsuit Doe A v. The Second Mile, et al, plaintiff John Doe A said he was abused by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky more than 100 times between 1992 and 1996. This lawsuit was filed in November 2011 against Sandusky, Penn State and The Second Mile.
Following this, PMA filed a suit to be relieved of its duties to defend and pay for this lawsuit in January 2012.
Penn State then proceeded to issue a countersuit against PMA in February 2012 to defend its rights under its insurance policies for the company to pay fees related to that lawsuit.
The second reason for this decision, Strassburger wrote in the court document, pertained to the connections Centre County judges hold with both The Second Mile and Penn State. While he states that an out-of-state judge could theoretically be brought in to serve, such a move would entail “logistical difficulties,” such as “time, staff, courtroom, and the like,” according to court documents.
“We only recently received the opinion and we’re reviewing our options,” university spokesman David La Torre said via email in connection to the matter.
The court issued a statement in a second court document filed the same date as Starssburger’s concurring opinion by Judge Anne Lazarus.
“Ultimately, as we explained in Washington, the trial court’s primary task is not to balance the relative convenience of the parties, but to decide if the proposed coordination would provide ‘a fair and efficient method of adjudicating the controversy,’ ” the document read.
PMA Manager Diane Nafranowicz and spokesman for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts Art Heinz could not be reached for comment as of press time Tuesday.