Canton McKinley pizza scandal: Judge dismisses former football coaches from lawsuit

Editor’s Note: Below is a previous report by 19 News about the lawsuit. Return for updates.
Published: Sep. 10, 2022 at 11:27 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - New developments occurred this week in the pizza scandal involving a former Canton McKinley football player and his coaches.

A federal judge filed an order Thursday to dismiss the seven former football coaches from a lawsuit claiming they forced the player to eat pork against his religion.

Judge John Adams found there was not enough evidence to support allegations made by legal representation of the student-athlete.

The lawsuit filed by the Hebrew Israelite player’s family alleged that on May 24, 2021 the coaches forced him to eat a pepperoni pizza after he missed a voluntary practice session.

The Canton City Board of Education voted to fire the coaches on June 3, 2021 after surveillance camera video surfaced of the incident.

The Pattakos Law Firm, which represents the former coaches, released a statement after the ruling that said, in part:

“From the moment these absurd and sensational accusations first went public there were numerous eyewitnesses, including the alleged victim’s teammates, who were jumping out of their shoes to confirm that the accusations were false. We begged Canton City School District officials to slow their rushed and flawed investigation to account for the truth but they wouldn’t listen. It remains a tragedy that these good men lost their jobs over this but with today’s ruling they’ve at least received some small measure of justice and they are extremely grateful for that.”

The lawyer representing the student’s family did not immediately return 19 News’ request for comment.

Records show the Canton City School District and Superintendent Jeff Talbert were already dismissed from the lawsuit.

See below to read the full 10-page ruling from Judge Adams: