Pat Fitzgerald lawsuit against Northwestern allowed to proceed – NBC Chicago

A judge has denied Northwestern’s motion to dismiss former coach Pat Fitzgerald’s $130 million lawsuit against the school, saying he was wrongfully fired following a hazing scandal.

Cook County Circuit Judge Daniel Kubasiak ruled Tuesday that Fitzgerald made a strong enough argument to pursue the case. A trial is scheduled for April 2025.

“While we announced our complaint in October 2023, the defendants’ actions have resulted in terrible and immeasurable costs to Coach Fitzgerald, his family and his career,” attorneys Dan Webb and Matthew Carter said in a statement. “As a result of this conduct, we had no choice but to file our complaint for breach of oral contract, breach of employment contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, false light and tortious interference with expectation commercial.”

A star linebacker at Northwestern in the 1990s, Fitzgerald was first suspended for two weeks and then fired last year after 17 years as Wildcats coach. The school said he had a responsibility to know hazing was taking place and should have stopped it.

Fitzgerald denies any wrongdoing.

“We remain confident that the university acted appropriately in terminating Coach Fitzgerald and we will vigorously defend our position in court,” Northwestern spokesman Jon Yates said in a statement.


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