Jury to hear orthopedic surgeon's case against Penn State football coach


A jury is slated to hear allegations that Penn State removed its team physician, Scott Lynch, MD, nearly five years after the orthopedic surgeon sued the State College, Pa.-based university, ESPN reported March 11.

Dr. Lynch sued in 2019 and claimed Penn State was removed from his positions as director of athletic medicine and a team orthopedic surgeon after he raised concerns that football head coach James Franklin interfered with the team physicians' decisionmaking for treatment and return-to-play.

"The medical profession's duty is to the patient, not to help a coach win games and/or keep their job," Dr. Lynch told ESPN. "When a coach tries to insert themselves into the patient's risk/benefit equation, it is wrong, and it must not be tolerated. There needs to be independent oversight of medical care."

Officials with Penn State and its Milton S. Hershey Medical Center denied claims of retaliation and said the surgeon was removed from his role on the team so they could hire someone who lived closer to the university, ESPN reported. Dr. Lynch is currently an orthopedic surgeon and director of sports medicine at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

A spokesperson for Penn State didn't address Dr. Lynch's allegations but told ESPN that student-athlete "health, safety, and wellness is a top priority for the University and [Mr.] Franklin."

Attorneys for Dr. Lynch told ESPN that they plan to call on sports medicine personnel during trial but won't call on Mr. Franklin or athletes.

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