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Will The Public Pay For Lawsuits Against Penn State?

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Some legal experts say the Penn State scandal could end up costing the university up to $100 million from civil lawsuits that almost certainly will be filed by the abuse victims.

A spokesman for Penn State says the university does carry liability insurance, but couldn’t say what the limit of damages is.

Will the public through tax dollars or students through tuition end up paying for the lawsuits?

Local personal injury attorneys have no doubt that Penn State has liability in the sex abuse cases.

“I think they have nothing but liability in this case,” Alan Perer, a personal injury attorney, said. “It’s a clear cut case of a cover up and concealment.”

Perer says it’s hard to estimate what the scandal will end up costing Penn State because all the victims may not have come forward yet, but it’ll be a lot.

“I mean we’re talking multi-million dollars in my opinion for each victim,” he estimated.

Where will that money come from?

Penn State receives hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money from the state budget.

Earlier this year, when the state cut funding by $68 million, Penn State raised tuition 4.9 percent, about $700 more per student.

Could this scandal affect tuition? John Gismondi, a local personal injury attorney, hopes not.

“I would be very surprised if under any circumstances the school would try to recoup anything they would pay on the backs of students,” he said. “I mean, I think that would be a horrible precedent from a public relations standpoint.”

Gismondi thinks if Penn State trustees are listening to public reaction, the best thing they can do is to settle the cases out of court quickly.

“I think emotion and public reaction is a major factor in this because it’s a barometer of how a jury would look at these cases were they to come and be presented in court,” he said.

RELATED STORIES/LINKS:

PHOTO GALLERY: Chaos On Campus After PSU Fires JoePa
VIDEO: Interim Coach Tom Bradley (11/10)
VIDEO: Joe Paterno Speaks After Firing (11/9)
VIDEO: Board of Trustees News Conference (11/9)
VIDEO: Watch The Attorney General’s News Conference (11/7)
STORY: Gov. Corbett Asks Penn State Students To Show Restraint
STORY: Bradley Takes Interim Coaching Job “With Mixed Emotions”
LINK: More On The Penn State Scandal

WARNING Contains Graphic Material: Read The Entire Grand Jury Presentment
AG, PSP Commissioner Statements: Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
LINK: Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office
LINK: Penn State Nittany Lions

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