Former Penn State athletic trainer and Beta Theta Pi live-in adviser Tim Bream filed a lawsuit against the university on Monday alleging he was unfairly pushed out of his position by Penn State.
The six-count wrongful termination lawsuit claims that by "compelling" Bream to resign, Penn State caused Bream to incur a loss of wages, become isolated from his community, and lose "prestige and professional standing," among other allegations.
Bream worked at Penn State from 2012 to 2018, previously serving as the university's assistant athletic director and head football trainer.
Additionally, as the adviser of the now-defunct Beta Theta Pi chapter, Bream was in his room in the fraternity during the hazing-fueled bid acceptance night in which sophomore pledge Timothy Piazza died in February 2017.
The lawsuit alleges that during yearly performance reviews, Bream received feedback that his performance was "excellent" until the 2016-17 academic year, when senior associate athletic director Charmelle Green charged him with "poor performance."
Bream alleges this review was not based on his job performance, but instead external factors. There is no mention of Piazza, Beta Theta Pi or Bream's role as the fraternity's live-in adviser in the 88-page suit.
Furthermore, Bream's complaint says he was relieved from his position as assistant athletic director on Feb. 6, 2018 — just over a year after Piazza's death — at the direction of vice president of Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour.
In February 2017, Penn State student Timothy Piazza died after sustaining a fractured skull …
The same day, the suit alleges his pay was "substantially reduced."
"As a result of the unjustified and illegitimate adverse employment actions taken against [Bream] by the Pennsylvania State University defendants, the Pennsylvania State University defendants made the working conditions of the plaintiff so intolerable that he was compelled to resign," the suit reads.
Filed in Centre County Court, the suit names Penn State, Green and Barbour as defendants.
During the fatal bid acceptance night, Piazza consumed at least 18 drinks in 82 minutes and fell down the fraternity's basement stairs, suffering a fractured skull and lacerated spleen. Brothers waited hours before calling for help.
While Bream's name was frequently dropped during preliminary hearings, he ultimately did not face any charges in the case. At the first preliminary hearing, Bream testified he was sleeping the night Piazza fell and did not know alcohol would be provided at the event.
Bream currently serves as the director of sports medicine and an athletic trainer at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
He seeks compensatory and punitive damages.