PHILADELPHIA – Last month, a woman who alleged she suffered harassment, gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment at the hands of Temple University athletic officials filed a motion for summary judgment on all claims in her lawsuit.
“In summation, plaintiff was bullied, harassed, sexually harassed, discriminated on the basis of her gender and retaliated against for reporting it,” the April 13 motion filed by Ebony Moore reads.
“The ball was indeed dropped as to how the plaintiff’s situation was handled because of the university’s blatant failure to follow established Title IX procedures.”
In the 175 page-long motion filing for summary judgment, Moore listed in exhaustive detail her account of the events surrounding this case and made mention of the athletic department’s personnel changes that have since taken place at Temple University, which specifically involves the defendants.
“Defendant [Kristen] Foley is no longer the athletic director over track and field and Defendant [Eric] Mobley has since been fired from his position as head coach of track and field,” the motion reads.
“Most interestingly, Defendant Mobley signed a contract where he was paid a settlement in exchange to not sue the university as well as to participate in litigation involving his former position as head coach.”
According to Temple-News.com, Mobley was not fired - he resigned.
As a result of this filing, Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Philadelphia, amended a scheduling order on May 5, providing a deadline for all possible motions for summary judgment to be filed by July 10 and subsequent responses to said motions by July 31.
In July 2013, Moore, who now resides in Lawrenceville, Ga., filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas alleging she experienced harassment, gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment at the hands of the then-head coach, Mobley, and then-Assistant Athletic Director Foley, as well as others.
Both Mobley and Foley are named as individual defendants in the lawsuit.
The plaintiff, who had become the university’s all-time discus record-holder and was the only member of the team to qualify for post-seasonal track and field meets, claims that Temple University knew or should have known that the “ill treatment, exclusion, badgering and unfair treatment” of Moore would result in “some sort of highly deleterious effect upon the mental health and well-being of the Plaintiff.”
The suit also takes issue with the plaintiff’s removal from the team, a decision that was overturned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which determined that Moore never violated any institutional or team rule, she says.
Despite the NCAA finding Temple at fault during a July 28, 2011, panel hearing, Moore was nevertheless unfairly dismissed from the track and field team, the lawsuit states.
The complaint accuses the Philadelphia-based university of failing to exercise proper governance and allowing an unfit individual to be in charge of the livelihood of the plaintiff.
The suit says that the defendants allowed the plaintiff to be verbally abused and bullied by the coaching staff and teammates without reprimand or action.
Moore also maintains that Mobley, the team’s head coach at the time, knowingly allowed the plaintiff to be sexually harassed by teammates and staff after being notified of unacceptable behavior against her.
The defendant also ignored Moore’s warnings that his coaching style was causing her distress, she claims.
Moore even claims her hair fell out and she experienced visible panic attacks during team bus rides.
According to the lawsuit, Moore was even publicly embarrassed and verbally abused to the point where she suffered a mental breakdown in an episode in which she destroyed her dorm room, dismantled the safety screen on the room’s window and attempted to commit suicide by jumping from the window.
Moore was eventually informed that she would no longer be allowed to compete in track and field with Mobley as the head coach.
“Instead of reprimanding the Defendant, the Plaintiff was no longer allowed to further her athletic career due to the University deeming the interaction ‘too toxic,’” the complaint reads.
The suit says that Moore has since been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and currently remains on various medications to treat her condition.
“The Plaintiff planned on competing in future Olympics, becoming an endorsed athlete and garnering many awards as a result of her participation in track and field,” the complaint states. “The previously stated goals were shattered due to the actions of the Defendants.”
Moore represents herself in this matter.
The defendants are represented by James Bucci and Casey R. Langel, of Genova Burns Giantomasi Webster in Philadelphia.
U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Pennsylvania case 2:13-cv-03670
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at firstname.lastname@example.org