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   HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Negotiations between Penn State and young men who claim they were abused by Jerry Sandusky have begun to bear fruit, with lawyers involved saying there will be more announcements of settlements in the coming days.

   The school's trustees have set aside some $60 million to pay claims, and on Monday a lawyer working for Penn State said the one settlement so far should be followed by 24 more this week. Thirty-one young men have come forward to Penn State.

   Attorney Michael Rozen said the pending agreements include most of the eight young men who testified last year against Sandusky, the school's former assistant football coach now serving a prison sentence for child molestation.

   Penn State said little over the weekend in response to an announcement by the lawyer for one of the eight, "Victim 5," that his case was fully settled and he expected payment within a month. The school is paying out the claims through its insurance coverage and from interest revenues on loans made by the school to its own self-supporting entities.

   Rozen said all of the deals are expected to include provisions that give the university the right to pursue claims against the university's insurer, The Second Mile charity founded by Sandusky and The Second Mile's insurer.

   Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence in state prison after being convicted last summer of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. Witnesses testified that he met victims through The Second Mile, an organization established to help at-risk children that ran camps and offered other services.

   Rozen said the "value" of the claims depended in part on whether they happened after 2001, when top-ranking school officials were told by a graduate assistant about Sandusky with a child in a team shower, or before 1998, the earliest documented example of a Sandusky complaint.

   "It's what did Penn State know and what duty did they have?" Rozen said. "What did they know, when did they know it, and what duty — if any — did they have to act, and to what extent?"

   He said claims for abuse before 1998 also may fall outside the statute of limitations that put time limits on how long victims have to sue.

   Although some lawyers have said they were interested in settlements that require Penn State to make changes that might prevent such abuse from re-occurring, Rozen said those matters have been eclipsed by the widespread reforms the university has adopted or begun since a series of recommendations were made last summer in an internal report.

   "I don't think anybody could reasonably or rationally question the university's commitment to doing things differently in the future," Rozen said. "This was about trying to redress harm caused to young men by this really bad person, Sandusky."

   He declined to say how much the 25 cases are settling for, or provide a range of the settlements.

Published in National News

The cost of the massive payment card hack that hit the  Schnucks supermarket chain in recent months could cost the company $80 million in Illinois alone.  

Court records show Schnucks wants to move an Illinois lawsuit related to a security breach affecting credit and debit cards of its customers to a federal court.

Schnucks has said the breach of up to 2.4 million cards dated to December and came to light in March. The company said the lawsuit filed against them on behalf of a Belleville shopper is meritless.

Two of the suits have been filed in Missouri; one in Illinois.
 
The suits allege that Schnucks knew about the breach days, perhaps longer, before it revealed the hack, and should have told customers about it sooner. The suit filed in Illinois on April 25 says the breach cost customers time and money, requiring card holders to spend hours canceling and getting replacement cards, and re-setting automatic payments.
 
The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports state law in both Missouri and Illinois says that any entity that stores or maintains personal data has to notify victims as soon as they become aware of a breach. But Schnucks has said that the data stolen from the cards included only credit card numbers and expiration dates — not names — and therefore, the company was not required to inform victims of the data theft.
 
The breach began in early December when malicious software, or malware, began lifting card data from the company’s system. The data was being accessed as the transactions were awaiting authorization within the company’s processing system.
 
The malware, the company said, was stripping data from the magnetic strip on the backs of cards. That strip contains different tracks that are read by card readers. The first track contains a person’s name; the second contains the card number and expiration date. The hackers, Schnucks said, accessed data on only the second stripe.
 
The company said it became aware on March 15 of questionable activity used on 12 cards used at its stores. On March 19 it hired Mandiant, a Virginia-based forensics firm, to conduct an investigation.
 
It confirmed the breach to the Post-Dispatch on March 22.
 
Schnucks located the source of the breach on March 28, and had executed a “containment plan” within 36 hours. The company issued its first news release on the matter March 30, saying the problem was “found and contained.”
 
Published in Local News

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