For anyone who has followed Jeff Anderson’s legal assault against priests in the Catholic Church (and the Pope) for alleged sexual abuse of children, it should come as no surprise that Mr. Anderson has filed the first civil lawsuit against in the Penn State/Gerry Sandusky scandal. The Complaint was filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia and is on behalf of “John Doe A,” an individual who was allegedly abused by Sandusky but was not named in the Grand Jury report. In addition to naming Sandusky, the plaintiff names The Second Mile, a charity founded by Sandusky, and Penn State University as defendants.
In the eight-count Complaint, plaintiff alleges (1) child sexual abuse against all named defendants; and (2) negligence; (3) negligent supervision; (4) premises liability; (5) negligent misrepresentation; (6) intentional infliction of emotional; (7) intentional misrepresentation; and (8) civil conspiracy to endanger children against Second Mile and Penn State.
According to the Complaint, Plaintiff was 10 years old at the time of the alleged abuse and claims to have been abused over 100 times in various locations: both inside and outside the state of Pennsylvania, the Penn State football facilities, Sandusky’s home, and at a Penn State bowl game.
Interestingly, Joe Paterno, who until last month was the demigod coach of the Penn State football team and supervised Sandusky on the Penn State football facilities when Sandusky was the defensive coordinator, was not named as a defendant. Although this lawsuit is the first, it will definitely not be the last against Sandusky, The Second Mile, Penn State, or probably Paterno.
The allegations are serious and upsettling. Given Anderson’s past success in bringing these types of suits, this first plaintiff will have a strong advocate.