November 18, 2011

Months after the original allegations came out, the full story of what happened in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal has yet to be heard. The only way it will come to light is through civil lawsuits, which will raise challenging legal issues, according to Philadelphia personal injury attorney Matt Casey.

Lawyers for victims keep coming forward in recent days, and this seems to indicate that the criminal charges former football coach Jerry Sandusky faces will also include civil lawsuits.

Casey, a founding partner of Ross Feller Casey, LLP, said "new facts are going to come out, I'm sure, in the civil litigation."

"It's one of the reasons that Penn State and the other potential defendants may decide to do whatever they can to prevent that from happening, and people going under oath. It's very dangerous."

One of the many legal complications surrounding these cases is the fact that the state-related university is getting money from Pennsylvania, and thus it may be able to claim limited liability based on this status.

Casey indicates this is not the case.

"They are not entitled to sovereign immunity," he said, adding that that doesn't mean the university will not attempt to invoke it. "But the appellate case law is pretty clear on that."

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