Penn State

Conference scheduled in Jay Paterno, Bill Kenney suit against Penn State

Centre Daily Times

Jay Paterno and Bill Kenney are seeing their lawsuit against Penn State take its next step with a notice filed Thursday.

Judge Lawrence Stengel of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania scheduled the Rule 16 conference for Dec. 15 at 9:30 a.m.

Paterno and Kenney are suing the university for more than $1 million, claiming that the decisions made by Penn State leaders in the aftermath of Jerry Sandusky’s arrest for child sexual abuse damaged the reputation of the two assistant coaches.

Paterno handled quarterback coaching for his father, longtime head coach Joe Paterno, who was fired in November 2011 and died in January 2012. Kenney was the Nittany Lions tight ends and offensive tackle coach. Both were let go after the hiring of Bill O’Brien as head coach.

While Penn State filed a 106-page motion to dismiss the suit on Sept. 23, the case was randomly reassigned to a new judge two weeks later and no ruling on that motion has been made.

A Rule 16 conference is a pretrial meeting of the parties to work toward resolutions, expediting the process and perhaps even reaching a settlement.

“Counsel should also be prepared to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the case,” the notice states.

Paterno and Kenney have requested a jury trial in the case.