SEATTLE (CN) – A Seattle attorney lost his appeal to avoid sanctions in a bizarre case involving twin doctors who allegedly switched identities and molested patients.
The Washington Court of Appeals upheld a decision to impose $16,000 in fines on Harish Bharti, who represented the alleged victims of the doctors, for filing a “baseless” claim for defamation and malicious prosecution against opposing attorneys in the case.
Bharti sued the law firm MacDonald Hoague & Bayless and attorneys Timothy Ford, Mark Johnson and Sims Weymuller after they represented one of the twins, Dennis Momah, in a defamation claim against Bharti. Bharti filed numerous lawsuits naming both brothers as plaintiffs and told various news outlets that Dennis, an internal medicine physician, had impersonated his brother Charles, a gynecologist, and raped Charles’ patients. Charles Momah was convicted of rape, but criminal charges were never brought against Dennis Momah. Charles’ claim against Bharti was later dismissed.
The appeals court agreed that Bharti’s appeal against the opposing attorneys was filed “without any reasonable inquiry” and “without any factual support.”