Ex-Penn State doctor awarded $5.25M in lawsuit alleging James Franklin interference: Reports



A Pennsylvania jury ruled Wednesday in favor of a former Penn State football doctor who alleged he was fired in retaliation for complaining about coach James Franklin interfering in medical management and return-to-play decisions for athletes, according to multiple reports.

The Dauphin County jury awarded Dr. Scott Lynch $5.25 million in damages in the case stemming from a 2019 wrongful termination lawsuit against Penn State Health’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Lynch’s former supervisor, Dr. Kevin Black. The jury awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, per PennLive.

Lynch alleged in the lawsuit he reported the “undue influence and attempts” of Franklin to interfere with his medical management to Black and athletics officials and was removed from his role in 2019 as a result. Black said at the time Lynch was relieved from his duties because he was not living nearby in State College, Penn., according to the lawsuit.

Lynch told ESPN he hoped the verdict would prompt an NCAA investigation and the amount of money awarded in the case would prompt schools to pay more attention to issues of coaches interfering in medical decisions.

“This is bigger than just Penn State,” Lynch told ESPN. “It’s really a national crisis and things have to change.”

A call to the assistant of Lynch’s lawyer, Steven F. Marino, was not immediately answered.

Penn State Health said in a statement to ESPN: “We are extremely disappointed to learn of the jury’s decision, as we continue to believe that the claims in the complaint have no merit. Penn State Health will soon determine whether it will appeal the decision.

“Penn State Health and the University remain dedicated to the health and well-being of our student-athletes.”

Franklin and Penn State University were dismissed as defendants in the case in 2020 due to the statute of limitations, according to ESPN. Franklin was never called as a defense witness, multiple outlets reported.

Penn State Athletics did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wednesday’s decision concluded a seven-day trial that featured testimony from doctors, trainers, school officials and former Penn State football players — including former PSU stars Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley, both of whom appeared for the defense, according to PennLive.

(Photo of James Franklin: Scott Taetsch / Getty Images)



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