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Insurance dispute focuses on when Penn State's Paterno knew of abuse claims

Insurance dispute focuses on when Penn State's Paterno knew of abuse claims

Former Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno knew as early as 1976 about sexual abuse charges against assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, a state court judge said in ruling on an insurance dispute in the case.

Blue Bell, Pennsylvania-based Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Insurance Co., a unit of Old Republic General Insurance Group, alleges that in 1976, a child allegedly reported to Mr. Paterno, who died in 2012, that the child had been sexually molested by Mr. Sandusky, according to the order that Judge Gary S. Glazer issued Wednesday in The Pennsylvania State University v. Pennsylvania Manufactures' Association Insurance Co.

There were subsequent abuse allegations against Mr. Sandusky in 1987 and 1988 although, “there is no evidence that reports of these incidents ever went further up the chain of command” at the university beyond Mr. Paterno, according to the order.

Mr. Sandusky, former defensive coordinator for Penn State's football team, received a 30- to 60-year sentence after being convicted in June 2012 of sexually molesting 10 boys.

Pennsylvania State University, which has been involved in an ongoing insurance coverage dispute with PMA, reached settlements totaling $59.7 million with 26 sexual abuse victims of former assistant football coach Gerald Sandusky in 2013.

Judge Glazer on Wednesday granted in part and denied in part insurance coverage for the university under PMA's policies in the complex litigation.

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