The University of Ottawa and 10 doctors associated with the university are facing a $155-million lawsuit filed by two resident doctors and a former resident doctor who allege they were discriminated against because of their Saudi heritage.
Dr. Waleed AlGhaithy, a former resident in the university's neurosurgery program, and Drs. Khalid Aba-Alkhail and Manal Al-Saigh, both residents in the cardiac surgery program, filed the suit in Toronto in late November. None of their allegations have been proven in court.
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, university spokeswoman Julie Tanguay wrote that the university "denies all allegations of wrongdoing made in the suit. The claims are entirely false, and the university will be vigorously defending itself against this suit, and defending the quality and the integrity of its medical education programs."
The statement goes on to say that the faculty of medicine "has been welcoming foreign medical students for more than 30 years, and boasts one of the largest numbers of foreign residents and fellows in Canada, the majority of whom have successfully achieved the required academic standards for graduation."
"We take pride in our diversity and high standards, and believe that they contribute to our excellence," the university said.
Allegations include defamation
AlGhaithy is asking for $55.8 million, according to the statement of claim, alleging wrongful dismissal, the violation of his charter rights, defamation, conspiracy to injure, misfeasance in public office, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence.
Aba-Alkhail is asking for $30.4 million for intimidation, misfeasance in public office, breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy to injure, negligence, breach of contract and defamation.
Al-Saigh is asking for $25.4 million for conspiracy to injure, misfeasance in public office, defamation, breaches of fiduciary duty and contract, as well as defamation.
All three are also claiming an additional $45 million for similar allegations.
The lawsuit comes about eight months after the three filed complaints with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
They are represented by Doug Christie, a self-described free speech defender who is best known for defending notorious clients including Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel and former Alberta schoolteacher Jim Keegstra.