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Judge Recommends Dismissal of Penn State Employee's Third Lawsuit

by on March 21, 2014 11:04 AM

A federal judge recommended Thursday to dismiss a Penn State employee's lawsuit against the university.

However, the judge is allowing Deborah Rearick to re-file her complaint with amendments.

Rearick, who has unsuccessfully sued Penn State twice prior, alleges she was repeatedly sexually harassed while employed with the university and ignored when she asked for it to stop. She also alleges the university retaliated against her when she claimed her constitutional rights had been violated.

In her third lawsuit, she makes the same allegations as well as blames the court system and state agencies for impeding her quest for justice. U.S. Middle District Judge Thomas Blewitt recommended in an order Thursday that the lawsuit be thrown out due to many issues in Rearick's complaint.

Specifically, Blewitt says Rearick's complaint "is not artfully drafted and is difficult to comprehend."

Additionally, Blewitt agrees with Penn State in that Rearick "does not sufficiently state that any of her constitutional rights were violated by the defendant. Further, (Rearick) does not properly allege how PSU retaliated against her for exercising her constitutional rights, and that she petitioned on a matter of public concern."

Blewitt recommended the suit be dismissed without prejudice, which allows Rearick to re-file her complaint.

Rearick's original complaint includes allegations against Penn State saying since 1998 the university had a pattern of covering up sexual harassment complaints and child abuse at the hands of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, who is now a convicted pedophile.

Rearick also claims the court system unfairly dismissed her two prior lawsuits and implied the court system should be investigated. Additionally, she claims the Pennsylvania Human Resources Commission, or PHRC, contributed to her legal woes as the agency "is part of the same administration that influences the running of (PSU)."

Rearick is seeking monetary damages for pain and suffering, humiliation and embarrassment as well as related fees and expenses.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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