Was former Penn State defensive coach Jerry Sandusky acting as an employee or executive of The Second Mile when he allegedly molested boys?
That is a question attorneys for Sandusky and Federal Insurance Co. are disputing in a joint case management plan filed in U.S. Middle District Court. Federal provides insurance coverage for the charity Sandusky founded.
Federal wants the court to declare it does not have to cover Sandusky’s legal costs in both the criminal case pending in Centre County and in civil matters arising from the allegations.
Sandusky contends The Second Mile policy explicitly provides coverage and it does not contain any exclusions as the insurance company maintains. It also does not contain any reference to Federal’s claim that coverage for these types of criminal and civil claims “would be repugnant to Pennsylvania public policy,” he says.
The parties agree Sandusky “facially” meets the definition of an insured person under the policy’s directors and officers liability and the employment practices liability sections.
In a previous court document, Sandusky contended that if Federal prevails, it could have a chilling effect on individuals taking part in charitable, community or educational endeavors involving children because they may not have coverage.
The case is a long way from trial. Discovery has yet to start and no depositions have been taken. The parties predict the case will be ready for trial next February.
Pending is a request by an alleged victim in Philadelphia to intervene in the case. He has voiced concern the award he might receive if successful in a lawsuit could be impacted adversely if the court sides with the insurance company.