On June 15, 2022, nine former University of San Francisco (USF) baseball players joined the class action lawsuit filed in March 2022 against their two (now former) baseball coaches, USF, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel FeganScott represent the plaintiff players who allege that USF coaches Anthony Giarratano and Troy Nakamura created an intolerable sexualized environment on the team over the course of 22 years, that USF knew about their misconduct and did nothing to stop it, and that the NCAA has inadequate policies in place to protect student-athletes from such abuse or prevent coaches from moving on to another member institution with impunity.
The amended complaint includes the claims brought by the original three plaintiffs. It provides vivid details of an environment rife with emotional abuse and highly sexualized behavior, with the earliest allegations dating back to 1999 — Giarratano’s first year as coach.
In January of 2023, the Court determined that Indiana-based NCAA’s ties to California were too threadbare to keep it as a defendant, but held that the case should continue against the University of San Francisco.
The original complaint was filed on March 11, 2022, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division. Since the filing, Giarratano and Nakamura have been fired, and USF athletic director, Joan McDermott, has left her position.
The lawsuit seeks to address the systemic institutional failures at USF that allowed such abuse to continue unabated despite complaints up to and including those made to the Athletic Director and Title IX office. Filed on March 11, 2022 in federal court in San Francisco, the suit includes allegations that the NCAA failed to protect the student-athletes from abuse and harassment, and also failed to create and enforce prohibitions of sexual contact between coaches and student-athletes. The complaint also details multiple attempts made by parents and others to demand the Jesuit university to step in to protect the student-athletes from ongoing abuse, only to have the school administration repeatedly ignore calls for assistance.
Despite having now fired both coaches, USF has shown that it cannot adequately address these issues. We have already heard from former players who experienced extreme levels of emotional abuse and sexualized misconduct by the coaches.
By bringing the voices of players together, we can make change. If you experienced abuse or were exposed to sexual misconduct by the coaches, we encourage you to contact FeganScott and Lieff Cabraser to share your experience.
Lieff Cabraser is a national law firm that represents individuals and small businesses in a variety of individual and class action cases, including cases brought by survivors of sexual abuse against physicians, teachers, and the institutions who employ them, including the groundbreaking sexual abuse class action against the University of Southern California filed on behalf of nearly 18,000 women who were abused by USC gynecologist George Tyndall. Lieff Cabraser served as Co-Lead Class Counsel in the USC suit, securing an historic $215 million settlement for the survivors that also included sweeping institutional reforms requiring USC to make significant and substantial changes to ensure such sexual abuse never happens again on its campus. Lieff Cabraser is currently serving as Co-Lead Class Counsel in litigation against the University of Michigan on behalf of student-patient and other survivors of sexual abuse by the late Dr. Robert E. Anderson.