Saturday, August 25, 2012

Victim 1 Sues Penn State

The man identified as Victim 1 at Jerry Sandusky's trial has sued Penn State.  HERE is link to his complaint, which was posted on his lawyers' website last night.  The five-count complaint alleges negligence/recklessness, fraudulent concealment/intentional misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and aiding and abetting/civil conspiracy.  The complaint is long, but it is definitely worth reading for anyone interested in the Penn State tragedy and also for lawyers looking for tips on how to draft a thorough and detailed complaint.

There are some pretty damning allegations contained in that complaint.  Anyone who has followed this story over the past year is probably familiar with the story and will also probably acknowledge that there appears to be a high likelihood that Penn State will be found liable for covering up the abuse by Jerry Sandusky.

Looking right past liability for a second, my mind turns to the potential damages.  The complaint alleges that Penn State operates on an annual budget of more than $4.5 billion and maintains an endowment in excess of $2 billion.  These numbers become relevant when assessing punitive damages.  One of the purposes of punitive damages is to deter the defendant and others from acting similarly in the future.  The only way to do that is to hit them where it hurts (not a legal term) i.e., in the pocketbook.  The only way to make sure that it "hurts" is to know how much money the defendant has.

I plan to keep updating on this case as details emerge, so keep checking back.

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