Penn State hires top law firm for Sandusky settlements

NEW YORK Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:49pm EDT

A view of the buildings on the campus of Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania July 11, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

A view of the buildings on the campus of Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania July 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pennsylvania State University has hired a high-profile law firm to try to settle suits arising from the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal by the end of the year, the school said on Thursday.

The Washington law firm of Feinberg Rozen LLP has been hired to help with potential out-of-court settlements, the university said in a statement.

Feinberg Rozen received national attention for helping resolve suits arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Virginia Tech mass shootings in 2007 and the September 11, 2001, attacks.

"In retaining Feinberg Rozen LLP ... we are seeking to make sure we do the right thing in terms of providing a just outcome for the victims," Penn State President Rodney Erickson said.

The law firm will be working to close claims out of court "over a concentrated, three-month period" and wrap them up by the end of the year, the statement said.

Sandusky, a retired Penn State assistant football coach, was convicted in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 boys, including while he was a Penn State employee.

Two former university officials face charges of perjury and failing to report suspected abuse arising from Sandusky's assault of boy in a Penn State shower in 2001.

At least three of Sandusky's victims are suing the university. Sandusky's lawyers have put the number of potential victims at almost 20.

Within minutes of Sandusky's conviction, Penn State said it was inviting victims to try to resolve claims against the school as fast as possible.

The New York Post newspaper said on Thursday that the teenager who triggered the prosecution of Sandusky had a book coming out next month.

He also will give his first interview to ABC News, timed to the release of the book, the Post said.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Jackie Frank)

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