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Whistleblower in Penn State sexual abuse scandal sues school

Mike McQueary says he was fired and publicly scorned after reporting attack

As if Pennsylvania State University wasn’t already in enough trouble, now the school has yet one more legal issue to manage.

Yesterday, the school’s former assistant football coach who blew the whistle on the now-infamous sex abuse scandal within its football program has filed suit against Penn State for $8 million. In the suit, Mike McQueary claims that his whistleblower rights were violated, and that he was defamed and misrepresented. He also says Penn State’s treatment toward him after the scandal broke has caused him distress, anxiety and humiliation.

But first, the abridged version of how it all went down: In 2001, McQueary saw former football coach Jerry Sandusky raping a child in a campus shower and reported the incident to Penn State’s head football coach, Joe Paterno. Paterno alerted his superiors, but not the police. A decade later, the scandal broke, and late last year, the school fired Paterno and placed McQueary on leave. 

In his suit, McQueary asks for at least $4 million in damages for defamation as a result of the school’s then-president publicly supporting its athletic director and vice president after charges were announced. He also asks for another $4 million for misrepresentation because the school officials involved at the time told him that appropriate action would be taken against Sandusky.

As previously mentioned, Penn State’s new GC, Stephen S. Dunham, has his work cut out for him.

Read more about McQueary’s suit on Thomson Reuters, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Los Angeles Times.

Check out InsideCounsel’s ongoing coverage of the Penn State scandal:

NCAA fines Penn State $60 million

Penn State GC criticized in report

Former Penn State assistant coach to sue university

Lessons from the Penn State scandal

Alleged sexual assault victims considering lawsuit against Penn State

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Cathleen Flahardy

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