The University of Guelph says it believes a multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed by one of its tenured professors against the institution and its employees is “frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of process.”

The university filed its statement of defence on March 3 in response to a lawsuit from Byram Bridle, a tenured professor at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College.

Brindle launched a $3 million lawsuit against the university, a number of faculty and other individuals with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Dec. 19, 2022.

None of the allegations have been tested in court.

Bridle alleged in his statement of claim he has suffered extensive damages, including, but not limited to, significant loss of standing as a virologist, immunologist, scientist and academic.

The lawsuit alleges Bridle has been treated unfairly for his views on the COVID-19 vaccine and was criticized for his public statements.

The statement of defence, acquired by CTV News Kitchener, says the defendants “deny that there was any misrepresentation, breach of duty, want of care, or negligence on their part or on the part of any of their servants, agents, or employees which caused or contributed to the damages” as alleged by Bridle.

According to the documents, the defendants deny that any of them owed Bridle a fiduciary duty under the circumstances, and deny any of them breached and fiduciary duty that may have been owed to Bridle.

The statement of defence claims Bridle’s action is without merit and is being used as a means of limiting expression on matters of public interest.

Bridle is suing for general damages in the amount of $500,000, punitive damages in the amount of $500,000, aggravated damages in the amount of $500,000 and restitution damages of $1.5 million with respect to lab equipment, loss of grant and research funding.

As far as monetary values, the defendants say that damages, if any, will be assessed in an amount not exceeding $200,000.

Bridle is also seeking a permanent injunction to allow 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.”

The court documents say Bridle was appointed as an independent researcher and faculty member of the Ontario Veterinary College in January 2012. In December 2017, he was awarded tenure.