Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include a statement issued by Penn State Health.
Former Penn State team doctor sues University and football coach James Franklin, claiming Franklin pressed him to clear injured players to return to the grid.
Dr. Scott A. Lynch claims in a lawsuit filed in Dauphin County Court that Franklin has repeatedly tried to influence his decisions about whether injured players are fit to play.
Lynch claims that his complaints about Franklin's alleged intervention prompted Penn State officials to remove Lynch from
Lynch was removed as an orthopedic physician by the football team and director of athletics treatment for the university in March.
He is seeking compensation for over $ 50,000 from the university in his suit. He alleges that Pen State employees violated his rights as an offender.
Attempts were made to try to contact Franklin and other Penn officials about the case Monday morning. Penn State Health, also named as respondent, issued the following statement:
“In February 201
The Lynch defendants include the University of Penn Milton Hershey Medical Center, which provides medical services for athletes in Penn State and where Lynch still works, Franklin, Athletic Director Sandy Barber, Senior Associate of Athletic Director Charm Greene and Dr. Kevin P. Black, orthopedic chair and rehabilitation for Penn State.
The 43-page Lynch lawsuit, filed by Philadelphia lawyer Stephen F. Marino, does not contain any examples of specific incidents where Franklin was allegedly trying to influence the player's medical care or return to the field. Lynch simply accuses Franklin of trying to deflect medical treatment and return to playing decisions "on multiple occasions."
He claims to have opposed the alleged interference, which he claims endangers the health of student-athletes. Lynch claims his ouster was a direct result of his complaint by Franklin to other university officials.
According to the case, Black appoints Lynch as an orthopedic physician for the football team in February 2013. In August 2014, Black called Lynch to serve as
. When Lynch was replaced in March, university officials said they wanted an orthopedist from a team to be housed in State College, unlike Hershey, where Lynch is located. Lynch's successor is Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli, who served as an orthopedist for a team for 20 years before being replaced by Lynch.
Lynch claims that the official reason for Sebastianelli's appointment was "completely false" and was invented to cover up conspiracy by university officials
Removing him violates more than the Pennsylvania Law Offenders, which is intended to revenge protections are those who conscientiously report wrongdoing, Lynch said. He claims his ouster also violates NCAA and Big Ten Intercollegiate Athletic Conference rules that prohibit coaches from interfering with the treatment of injured athletes.
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