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Former WSU head football coach Nick Rolovich sues WSU, Gov. Inslee for wrongful termination

The lawsuit formally sues WSU, WSU Athletics Director Patrick Chun and Governor Jay Inslee. Rolovich claims Chun and WSU were "hostile" towards him.

PULLMAN, Wash. — Former head football coach for Washington State University (WSU) Nick Rolovich has sued both WSU Athletics Director Patrick Chun and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee after he was fired for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.

The 32-page lawsuit formally sues WSU, WSU Athletics Director Patrick Chun and Gov. Inslee. Rolovich claims Chun and WSU were "hostile" towards him.

Last year, Rolovich’s legal team published an administrative appeal to Chun stating that Rolovich was wrongfully terminated from WSU. That appeal was denied.

In August, KREM 2 confirmed with the state of Washington that Rolovich filed a tort claim on April 27, 2022, seeking $25 million in damages for wrongful termination.

RELATED: 'I’m going to follow the mandate': The complete timeline of everything that led up to Nick Rolovich's firing

The lawsuit claims Rolovich applied for religious exemption with WSU’s Human Resource Services (HRS), who state Rolovich was "entitled to a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement,". The lawsuit goes on to claim that Chun interrupted the process which lead to Rolovich's religious exemption being ultimately rejected.

Court documents also claim Chun was especially hostile towards Rolovich, claiming Chun told Rolovich he was a "con-man" and accused him of being selfish.

The lawsuit also states WSU withheld wages from Rolovich's salary from May 2020 to July 2020.

As for Gov. Inslee, the lawsuit claims Rolovich was not informed of the potential risks of taking the experimental vaccine. 

The lawsuit cites that, at the time of mandatory vaccination for state employees, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a document stating, “It is your choice to receive or not to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Should you decide not to receive it, it will not change your standard medical care."

In response to the lawsuit, WSU Vice President for Marketing and Communication Phil Weiler shared the following statement with KREM 2:

Mr. Rolovich’s lawsuit against Washington State University is wholly without merit. 

Washington State University carried out the Governor’s COVID-19 vaccination proclamation for state employees in a fair and lawful manner, including in its evaluation of employee requests for medical or religious exemptions and accommodations. For multiple reasons, Mr. Rolovich did not qualify, and the university firmly stands by that decision. 

Washington State University will vigorously defend itself against Mr. Rolovich’s claims.

Read the full lawsuit below:

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