posted on Aug, 15 2004 @ 11:18 AM
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Bill Cowher are facing a lawsuit by the team's former assistant equipment manager who has said team officials and the
coach wrongly accused him of sexually harassing ball boys, according to a report in Saturday's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Paul Gallagher, whose suit was filed on Aug. 5, is asking for unspecified damages in accusing Cowher and the Steelers of defamation, conspiracy,
negligent supervision and intentional infliction of emotional distress, reports the newspaper. Gallagher's suit claims he was both improperly fired
and, because of rumors stemming from the Steelers' accusations, prevented from finding another job in the NFL.
According to the suit, Gallagher is not "a homosexual, nor has he any homosexual tendencies, nor is he a pedophile or pervert."
Steelers attorney Thomas Giotto declined comment on Gallagher's allegations. Cowher could not be reached for comment.
According to the lawsuit, filed by the plaintiff's attorney, Brendan Petrick, Gallagher alleges that during an August 2002 training camp, Cowher told
the club's other equipment managers that Gallagher was "sexually harassing and/or assaulting ball boys." The suit goes on to allege that other team
officials informed Gallagher that "Cowher is really [angry] you are sexually harassing these kids." Gallagher was then told to leave camp, the suit
reports, which he did.
The former equipment manager further claims that the Steelers spread allegations to the Detroit Lions organization that Gallagher was "a pervert,"
which kept him from kept him from finding work with Detroit as well as other NFL teams.
Though he'd left the team, Gallagher says he still received paychecks until January 2003. The suit asserts, however, that the Steelers never fired