The University of Guelph and several of its employees are facing a $3 million lawsuit from within their ranks.
Associate professor Byram Bridle, who has been outspoken in his opposition to COVID vaccine mandates, filed the lawsuit in Toronto on Dec. 19.
In it the Ontario Veterinary College viral immunologist alleges he’s experienced online harassment, was instructed to “censor” his comments and withdraw from public appearances.
“This caused the plaintiff mental anguish because he had performed his duty as a public servant, on request, to inform the public on matters within his field of expertise, but he was socially and professionally chastised,” the claim states.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and no statements of defence have been filed.
In addition to the university, the lawsuit lists numerous staff members, including U of G president Charlotte Yates and several other professors, as defendants.
Also listed is a "Jane or John Doe Junior Scientist," the anonymous creator of an anonymous website critical of Bridle
In total there are 12 defendants in the claim.
“The university cannot comment on a matter that is before the court,” said Lori Bona Hunt, senior director of media relations, in an email.
Bridle is seeking $500,000 in general damages, $500,000 in punitive damages, $500,000 in aggravated damages and another $1.5 million regarding the loss of lab equipment as well as grant and research funding.
He’s also after a ruling allowing him to “freely be present at the university campus, and in particular at his lab and office, in the Pathobiology Building, without conditions or interferences from the university, to pursue his work.”
As explained in the lawsuit, Bridle openly raised concerns about “short-cuts in the research and development” of COVID vaccines and presented his view through numerous media interviews and event participation.
Bridle claims the actions of the defendants have set his career back 10 years.
A full copy of the statement of claim can be found here.