Former federal Conservative leader Erin O’Toole owes Jamie Lall an apology, a Calgary lawsuit claims.
Oh, and $2 million.
Those are the remedies Lall, a former worker for Peter MacKay’s leadership campaign, is seeking over what he says were false allegations by members of O’Toole’s team that he was behind the theft of computer data.
In a statement of claim filed in Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench, Lall, a one-time provincial Tory candidate, says members of O’Toole’s leadership campaign team tried to bully him to provide information about who was behind the hack.
The court document says Lall, who was a Calgary regional organizer for MacKay’s leadership bid, agreed to a June 19, 2020, conference call with three of O’Toole’s campaign leaders — Arundeep Sandhu, James Ross and Walied Soliman.
“During this phone call, Mr. Jamie Lall was threatened and intimidated in an attempt to coerce and extort (him) into providing the defendants with information,” the claim states.
It says Lall did not have the information being sought, but was threatened with criminal prosecution if he didn’t provide it.
During the call, Soliman said someone with a Richmond Hill, Ont., IP address and a Calgary IP address had logged into their Zoom account “and leaked one of their campaign’s videos to a news outlet based out of Quebec,” the lawsuit alleges.
Soliman said if “Lall did not provide him with the names of MacKay ‘higher-ups’ who logged into their account and leaked the video, the O’Toole campaign would get the police to charge (him) with a criminal offence and that they would alert the media and release a statement ‘pinning’ the leak on . . . Lall.”
All three told Lall “to think hard about the consequences, and by not ‘playing ball’ with them (he) was jeopardizing his life and reputation,” the statement of claim says.
Later that day, O’Toole and his campaign put out a news release saying a complaint had been made to police alleging “Lall was involved in the ‘theft of confidential strategy video conferences,’ ” the lawsuit says.
The campaign also released a statement naming “Lall as sort of ‘mastermind’ behind the leak of O’Toole’s campaign.”
“The plaintiff . . . has suffered harm and ongoing fear of further threats and attempts to blackmail (him).”
Along with damages of $2 million, the plaintiff is seeking “a declaration that the defendants make a public apology.”
Statements of defence disputing the unproven allegations have not been filed.