Ontario doctor sues prominent anti-lockdown legal firebrand

Ontario doctor sues prominent anti-lockdown legal firebrand

Dr. Ashvinder Kaur Lamba says lawyer Rocco Galati favoured his own anti-lockdown ideology over her legal wellbeing in a lawsuit, leaving her ‘tarnished as an “anti vax” physician’

One of two doctors ordered to pay a combined $1 million in legal costs after their COVID-related libel suit was struck down is suing her former Toronto lawyer, alleging he favoured his own anti-lockdown ideology over her legal wellbeing.


Dr. Ashvinder Kaur Lamba asked in a statement of claim filed last week that the court order Rocco Galati and his firm to pay her $600,000 in compensation, charging that he mishandled the case and exposed her without warning to “astronomical costs.”

After filing what Lamba alleges was a sub-standard appeal of the libel ruling, Galati pulled out of the suit and left her “in the lurch,” the Toronto-area family physician alleges.


Lamba’s libel claims actually had nothing to do with the COVID comments that were at the heart of the suit, a judge in that case noted. But Galati had advised adding her unrelated claims to the court action, which centred around a colleague of Lamba’s in a dissident medical group, the doctor charges.


As a result, she not only racked up huge legal bills, but suffered unjustified blowback as a supposed anti-vaccination activist, she alleges.


Galati and other members of his firm “placed their own interests, beliefs, and/or ideology above the interests of their client,” the court document charges. “They acted for Dr. Lamba when they knew or ought to have known that they were in a conflict of interest due to their own beliefs and activism on the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic.”


None of the physician’s accusations have been proven in court, and no statement of defence has yet been filed.


Galati could not be reached for comment by deadline Tuesday. Asher Honickman, the lawyer representing Lamba, said his client would not comment while the case is before the courts.

Galati is one of the most prominent and provocative opponents of vaccine mandates and other measures taken to curb the COVID pandemic. He is handling two class-action lawsuits that allege a broad conspiracy by the World Economic Forum, Bill Gates and others to create the pandemic and establish a new world order. He has called protective face coverings “slave-trade masks” and other public-health measures “vicious fraud.”


Lamba’s suit was filed shortly after another COVID-related setback for Galati. A judge ordered him earlier this month to pay $132,000 in legal costs to a group of more moderate anti-lockdown activists in B.C. after quashing his libel suit against them. They had criticized Galati online, in part to explain why they had not hired him to handle their own COVID class action.


The case Lamba is suing Galati over centred mostly around another doctor, Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill. They are both leaders of Concerned Doctors of Ontario, an organization that is harshly critical of the Ontario Medical Association.


Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill, above in her clinic in Brampton in 2017.


Gill issued numerous posts on X, formerly Twitter, during the pandemic, denying the value of COVID vaccines, lockdowns and other preventive measures and promoting treatments dismissed as ineffective by most scientists. Several other doctors and journalists responded critically on the social-medial platform. Gill, along with Lamba, then sued 23 of them, claiming $12 million in damages.

Lamba’s part in the suit, though, related to her activities with the concerned doctors group. She alleged that two other physicians had libeled her in responding to statements she and Gill issued claiming the OMA was rife with corruption and fraud.


Regardless, a judge dismissed the suit in early 2022, and later ordered the plaintiffs to pay $1.1 million to cover legal expenses of the about two dozen defendants.


Galati and colleagues at his firm kept her largely in the dark about the case, failed to give her a copy of the decision dismissing the libel suit and filed a “deficient” appeal of it, before leaving the case in 2022, Lamba alleges. Galati had recently endured a lengthy hospitalization, including being in a coma, said a court order releasing him from the case, posted online by the blog.


Lamba had to “scramble” to find another lawyer, who managed to get the cost award against her reduced from the $161,000 share she had been ordered to pay.


Lamba alleges the experience left her “tarnished as an ‘anti vax’ or ‘anti public health’ physician, being the victim of disrespect, hatred and contempt, and experiencing feelings of shame, embarrassment and humiliation,” all because Galati lumped her in with Gill’s unrelated COVID claims.

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