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St. Luke’s Wins High-Stakes Legal Battle: Ammon Bundy and Co-Defendants Fined $52.5M

In a recent legal case in Idaho, an Idaho jury has issued a significant judgment against several defendants, including Ammon Bundy, Diego Rodriguez, the People’s Rights Network, Freedom Man Press, and the Bundy campaign for governor. The jury ruled in favor of Boise-based St. Luke’s Health System and other plaintiffs, finding the defendants liable for defamation and other claims.

According to statements from St. Luke’s Health System and their legal counsel, the defendants have been ordered to pay a total of $52.5 million in damages. The judgment includes $26 million in punitive damages and $26.5 million in compensatory damages. The individual breakdown of damages for Ammon Bundy and Diego Rodriguez is as follows:

1.        Ammon Bundy, the founder of the far-right group the People’s Rights Network, has been ordered to pay $6.2 million in compensatory damages and $6.15 million in punitive damages.

2.        Diego Rodriguez, who is an associate of Ammon Bundy, has been ordered to pay $7 million in compensatory damages and $6.5 million in punitive damages.

The lawsuit that led to this judgment was filed in May 2022 in relation to a protest that occurred during the hospitalization of Mr. Rodriguez’s infant grandson. The lawsuit alleges that Ammon Bundy and his supporters threatened hospital workers and disrupted health services during the protest, which prompted a hospital lockdown.

St. Luke’s Health System claims that the defendants engaged in a dishonest and baseless smear campaign, accusing Idaho state employees, the judiciary, the police, and the health system of kidnapping, trafficking, and killing Idaho children. The defendants are also said to have incited followers to protest at the hospital, resulting in the hour-long lockdown and further disruptions at another St. Luke’s campus.

Both Ammon Bundy and Diego Rodriguez effectively forfeited the case by failing to appear in court or respond to a judge’s orders, leading to the damages portion of the trial. After the jury’s decision, Bundy and Rodriguez expressed their dissatisfaction with the court process and the verdict. Nevertheless, the judgment stands, and St. Luke’s Health System has announced that any monetary damages awarded to them or their CEO will be donated to St. Luke’s Children at Risk Evaluation Services.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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