News

Paterno family lawyer encouraged by judge's ruling

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 7, 2014 4:09 PM
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(Harrisburg) --  A lawyer for Joe Paterno's family and others who sued the NCAA over the Penn State sanctions calls a judge's preliminary ruling a significant victory.

Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers responded today to a decision by Judge John Leete, saying it allows the critical claims in the lawsuit to go forward.

Leete says Penn State University must become involved in order for parts of the lawsuit to proceed. He says breach of contract claims can't continue without Penn State because it's an ``indispensable party.''

The judge is dismissing some elements, keeping others alive and allowing an amended lawsuit to be filed.

Sollers says the ruling will let ``the bright light of legal discovery'' shine on the facts and records.

The NCAA says it's reviewing the decision.

This story was updated at 6:25 p.m. on 1/7/14

(Harrisburg) -- A  judge says Penn State University must be part of the case in order for parts of a lawsuit against the NCAA by Joe Paterno's family and others to proceed.

The 25-page opinion issued today by Judge John Leete delivered a mixed decision by dismissing some elements, keeping alive others and leaving the door open for an amended lawsuit to be filed.

Leete says breach of contract claims can't continue without Penn State's participation because the school is an ``indispensable party.'' Leete says the lawsuit could affect the school's interests and contractual rights.

The judge is throwing out a claim of interference with contractual relations but keeping in place commercial disparagement and civil conspiracy elements.

He's tossing parts of the defamation allegations, except as they apply to a trustee and former coaches who sued.

The NCAA says it's reviewing the decision, and plaintiffs' lawyers haven't responded to messages.

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