A former assistant football coach at a suburban Philadelphia high school has filed a lawsuit against school officials after a lawsuit alleging assault related to hazing activities was dropped.
As reported by the Philadelphia Daily News, Thomas Batgos filed suit against the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District superintendent Richard Gusick, the Conestoga principal Amy Meisinger, and the father of a student who initially claimed Batgos was responsible for failing to oversee the students who he accused of assaulting his son. Batgos’ legal action makes claims of defamation and misrepresentation, and seeks to earn $50,000 in lost compensation and unspecified punitive damages.
The lawsuit is the latest repartee in a case that dates back more than a year, when a Conestoga student claimed he was hazed by fellow members of the football team at the same time each week. The father of that unnamed student filed suit against the school district and the juvenile students he claimed had held down his son, which then fired all of its football coaches as a reactionary measure to the charges.
Those charges were later decreased when the three teens involved admitted to briefly holding down their freshman teammate when he refused to help clean the locker room. However, claims of assault were dropped when it was confirmed by multiple parties that the upperclassmen had only poked the entrapped freshman with a broom in the leg and did not cause him any physical harm.
Batgos stood up for the teens who were accused of assault throughout their trial, and did so much more forcefully than any of his former colleagues.
“(The case) caused three kids a great deal of anguish over a year unjustly” and “impacted a great school, innocent kids, and men that gave hundreds of hours to a football program,” Batgos previously told the Daily News.
Now his lawyers are claiming the unfounded allegations against his client have permanently tainted his reputation in the coaching community and kept him out of work since.
“They rushed to judgment without all the facts. And in that rush to judgment, they destroyed my client’s reputation that he has built up over years of selfless coaching,” Gerard Egan told the News. “They looked to cover themselves, their own inadequacies, by blaming the coaches.”