PULLMAN, Wash. — Former Washington State University (WSU) head football coach has followed up on his plans to sue the state of Washington by filing a tort suit against the state. He is seeking $25 million in damages for wrongful termination.
Rolovich was fired from WSU in October 2021 after he said he would not receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Rolovich applied for a religious exemption from Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandate where all state employees must get vaccinated for COVID-19. His religious exemption was denied by WSU. They said that they could not make appropriate accommodations for Rolovich if he was unvaccinated.
Shortly after he was fired, he announced plans to sue the university for wrongful termination.
Rolovich's legal team published an administrative appeal regarding his termination in November 2021. The appeal stated that Rolovich was wrongfully terminated from the university. That appeal was ultimately denied.
KREM 2 confirmed with the state of Washington that Rolovich filed a tort claim on April 27, 2022.
In the tort claim, Rolovich's legal team argues that WSU's Director of Athletics Pat Chun was "hostile" towards their client's religious objections to getting the COVID-19 vaccine and that the athletics department presented bias when reviewing his exemption forum. The tort claims that Chun interfered in the university's "blind review process" of religious exemptions by weighing in on the sincerity of Rolovich's request.
If an individual plans to sue the state, they must first file a tort claim with the state Office of Risk Management. Then, there is a 60-day period before a lawsuit can be filed. This is to allow the state time to review and respond to the claim. Once the 60 days have passed, however, a lawsuit can be filed.
KREM 2 made a request for a statement from Rolovich's attorney but no response has been given as of Friday night.
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