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The Court of Appeal for Ontario has rejected the motion of three medical residents who were either denied advancement or dismissed from the neurosurgery program at the University of Ottawa.

Khalid Aba-Alkhail, Manal Alsaigh, and Waleed AlGhaithy, who are studying in Canada on Saudi Arabian scholarships for advanced training, filed a lawsuit in 2011 against the U of O and 10 physicians affiliated with the faculty of medicine, including Jacques Badwejn, dean of the faculty and chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada. The lawsuit followed attempts to appeal through the university’s internal processes.

Among other allegations, the residents claimed defamation, conspiracy to injure, malfeasance in public office, negligence, and racial discrimination.

In the statement of claim made to the superior court in 2011, the plaintiffs said Badwejn chief of surgery Eric Poulin entered into an agreement to conspire against AlGhaithy by dismissing or suspending him from the program.

“As Arabic medical residents they were subjected to unwarranted criticism and disparagement of their work,” the lawsuit claimed.

The $156-million case against the university was dismissed last April by the Superior Court of Justice as an abuse of process, and the Court of Appeal for Ontario declared it agrees with the superior court judge’s findings. The appeal has been dismissed with costs of $15,000 charged to the Saudi appellants to be paid to the court as well as $90,000 in legal costs related to the unsuccessful lawsuit to be paid to the university and the other defendants.

The U of O was unable to comment on the case because it is ongoing, and the plaintiffs were unavailable for comment.