Jury orders Bundy, associates to pay $52.5 million in damages to St. Luke's
A jury ordered Ammon Bundy, Diego Rodriguez and associated entities to pay St. Luke’s Health System and three individual plaintiffs more than $50 million in damages Monday. The ruling requires the defendants to pay $26.5 million in compensatory costs and another $26.5 million in punitive damages.
The decision reached at the Ada County Courthouse “underscores the many deep-reaching and damaging impacts caused by the defendants since March 2022,” according to a St. Luke’s news release. St. Luke’s and three individuals filed a lawsuit more than a year ago against Bundy, Rodriguez and entities, which includes People’s Rights Network and Freedom Man Press, LLC.
In this lawsuit, the plaintiffs argued Bundy and Rodriguez engaged in defamation and harassment towards St. Luke’s employees after Rodriguez’s ten-month-old grandchild was admitted to St. Luke’s Meridian hospital for severe malnourishment. Local authorities arrested Bundy for trespassing at the hospital when he was asked to leave the ambulance bay.
Three days later, a crowd of Bundy supporters caused St. Luke’s Boise location to enter lockdown for over an hour, effectively enclosing hospital staff inside and forcing providers to direct incoming patients elsewhere.
Chris Roth, president and CEO of St. Luke’s Health System said in the release, “taking legal action is not something we take lightly. But standing up to the threats, bullying, intimidation, disruption, and self-serving actions of the defendants was necessary. Inaction would have signaled that their menacing behavior was acceptable. Clearly, it is not, and the jury’s decision validates that fact.”
Diego Rodriguez refutes these allegations, writing in an email, “this entire lawsuit is a slap in the face to everyone who cares about freedom and the Constitution, as our Constitutional right to Freedom of Speech and to just plain TELL THE TRUTH about how St. Luke’s participated in the wicked and evil kidnapping of my grandson, which they financially profited from.”
Bundy was not present during the ten-day civil trial.