Penn State hires acclaimed mediator to settle civil claims

Andrew Krammer

Penn State has hired Ken Feinberg – an acclaimed lawyer who ran the Sept. 11 victim fund – to settle personal injury claims connected to former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's child molestation.

The university announced Thursday that it had hired the storied mediator, who has also helped resolve claims attached to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Virginia Tech massacre and the Vietnam War defoliant Agent Orange, the Associated Press reported.

Sandusky, who is scheduled to be sentenced next month for sexually abusing 10 boys, has brought at least four lawsuits against Penn State.

Lawyers for some of Sandusky's victims claimed recently that the school had failed to follow up on the civil claims quickly. Penn State said on the day of Sandusky's conviction in June that it wanted to settle the claims “privately, expeditiously and fairly.”

The AP reported that attorneys had “very little contact with the university and, if that continued, more lawsuits were expected.”

“We will merely facilitate the effort and only in those cases where individuals and their lawyers are so inclined,” Feinberg said in a Penn State statement. “Having managed similar cases in the past we are confident we can help all parties involved in this matter.”