HARRISBURG — The lawyer who ran the Sept. 11 victim fund and other major victim compensation efforts has been hired by Penn State in its effort to settle personal injury claims related to former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's molestation.
Penn State said Thursday that it retained the Washington, D.C., law firm led by Ken Feinberg for what the university described as an effort to resolve all litigation, including claims that have not been filed, by the end of the year.
Feinberg also helped resolve claims that arose from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Virginia Tech massacre and the Vietnam War defoliant Agent Orange. He declined a phone interview.
At least four lawsuits are in the works against Penn State over Sandusky, who is scheduled to be sentenced next month for sexually abusing 10 boys.
Lawyers for Sandusky's victims from the criminal case and other potential claimants had said recently that the school hadn't followed up on its pledge to settle the civil claims quickly and fairly. Attorneys told The Associated Press this month that they had very limited contact with the university and, if that continued, more lawsuits were expected.
Philadelphia lawyer Joel Feller, part of a team that represents four of the 10 victims in Sandusky's criminal case, as well as Sandusky's adopted son Matt Sandusky and other claimants, said he was waiting to learn more about how the school plans to proceed.
In a statement released by Penn State, Feinberg said his law firm would not be administering a compensation fund and has no authority to compel any settlement.
"We will merely facilitate the effort and only in those cases where individuals and their lawyers are so inclined," Feinberg said.