BELLEFONTE, Pa -- A jury has found in favor of Mike McQueary in his defamation and misrepresentation case versus Penn State University for a total of $7.3 million.
The nine-woman, three-man panel, which includes two Penn State employees, decided that Penn State is guilty of defamation and misrepresentation in regards to his coming forward with information he saw Jerry Sandusky sexually abuse a young boy in a Penn State locker room shower.
Senior Judge Thomas Gavin, of Chester County, will decide McQueary’s whistleblower claim that he was wrongfully terminated by Penn State in 2012 after his name became public as the graduate assistant named in the 2011 grand jury presentment. Both sides will submit briefs to the judge Friday morning. The judge said a ruling on this portion of the case will be made in the next 30 days.
McQueary’s grand jury testimony also led to the indictments of former Penn State administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.
“What Penn State has done to Mike McQueary is absolutely outrageous,” McQueary’s attorney Elliot Strokoff told the jury. “Not investigating but then telling him it was investigated? It’s outrageous and should never ever be able to happen again.”
Strokoff seemed to indicate he wanted the jury to send a message to other universities to deter them from incidents like this in the future.
Penn State claims in its defense that McQueary’s reputation was harmed not by their decisions to release a statement in support of Curley and Schultz, nor the school’s decision to put him on administrative leave just days after his name became public. Instead, Penn State attorney Nancy Conrad told the jury it was national media and public opinion which resulted from McQueary’s own decisions which led to his downfall.