Penn State lawyers file late request against Mike McQueary

mcarroll@centredaily.comMarch 16, 2013 

After weeks of back-and-forth court filings and legal responses, attorneys for Penn State and former assistant football coach Mike McQueary will have their day in Centre County court on Monday.

McQueary’s lawyers want an out-of-county judge to overrule Penn State lawyers’ objections to his whistle-blower lawsuit against the university. Penn State is contesting McQueary’s claims and wants the lawsuit thrown out.

Attorneys for Penn State filed yet another legal document Friday in Centre County Court, contending that arguments made in a filing last week by McQueary “fail.”

“The university particularly responds to (McQueary’s) guised attempt to force a defamatory meaning on (ex-Penn State president Graham) Spanier’s statements by ignoring the full content of the statement,” the university’s attorneys wrote in the papers filed Friday.

McQueary’s lawyers contend that a statement Spanier made in November 2011 in support of former university leaders Tim Curley and Gary Schultz was defamatory. They also sued on the grounds that Curley and Schultz misrepresented how they would respond to McQueary’s report in 2001 when he saw Jerry Sandusky in a shower with a young boy.

Penn State’s lawyers said in court papers last month that McQueary’s lawsuit was “devoid” of legal merit, and they asked the judge to dismiss the suit. The lawyers said Spanier’s statement was not defamatory and that what Curley and Schultz told McQueary was not a misrepresentation.

McQueary’s contract was not renewed when it expired last summer, and the former assistant sued in October, seeking $4 million in lost wages and other punitive damages, on the grounds he was defamed and let go because he cooperated with authorities investigating Sandusky.

The sides are due to provide oral arguments in front of Senior Judge Thomas Gavin, of Chester County, at 11 a.m. on Monday in the Centre County Courthouse.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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