Jerry Sandusky sexually abused and raped boys in Penn State showers, and elsewhere on Penn State grounds, and Penn State let him.
Jerry Sandusky is in jail and broke. But Penn State is not. That's why Sanduski's victims, now grown men, are suing Penn State and not Sandusky for money damages. You can't get water from a rock. But Penn State is no rock. It's a reservoir.
Michaels & Smolak has recently taken on a similar case involving a New York State school district whose administrators knew, or should have known, that one of its teachers was sexually abusing and raping young students. And we are suing the school district rather than the jailed and disgraced teacher. Again, you can't get water from a rock.
Twenty-six of the Penn State victims have settled with Penn State for an average of $2.3 million each. But "victim 9" is holding out for more. Everyone admits he suffered the most harm at the hands of Sandusky. Victim 9's attorney says his client "did not consider the offer [from Penn State] sufficient to compensate him adequately for what he needs and deserves." Can you blame him?
By the time victim 9, and most of the other victims got raped, Penn State's administrators knew what was going on and decided to "turn a blind eye". Well, now let's see if they can turn a blind eye to the big bucks they need to shell out to resolve this mess.
History repeats itself. After the Penn State/Sandusky headlines of a few years ago, you would think that institutions such as universities, school districts, and others would finally learn to spot, and stop, abusers in their midst. But as the case we recently took in shows, some people never learn from others' mistakes. They learn only from their own.
While Sandusky rots in jail, as he should, three former officials of Penn State University, the former president, vice president and athletic director are facing criminal charges that they lied to a grand jury, failed to report allegations of abuse, and obstructed justice. Criminal sanctions are one thing, but that won't compensate the victims. Only tort law can do that.
To Victim 9, the lawyers at Michaels & Smolak send you our wishes for either a fair settlement or successful trial. To victims of childhood sexual abuse everywhere, we send this message: don't let your claims die without seeing whether you too can have a measure of justice. Did someone in a position to stop or prevent the abuse allow it to go on? You may have a claim. And your statute of limitations does not even begin to run until you turn 18. Seek legal counsel. Time may be running out . . .
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I'd love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
Central NY Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.