(CNN) — Ammon Bundy, the Idaho-based anti-government activist who captured national attention seven years ago when he led an armed occupation of federal land in Oregon, has been ordered to pay $26 million dollars to a Boise hospital, its CEO, a doctor and a nurse practitioner.
Bundy had accused them of malpractice when a grandson of a friend was treated at St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center after the child was taken into protective custody by police. Bundy led protests in front of the hospital that resulted in him being arrested for trespassing.
The child, described by police as “suffering from severe malnourishment” during previous medical care, is the grandson of far-right activist Diego Rodriguez, whom Bundy described as a “very good friend.” Rodriguez was also named as a defendant, and the jury ordered him and his Freedom Man organizations to pay $26.5 million.
“The jury’s decision imposes accountability for the ongoing campaign of intimidation, harassment and disinformation these defendants have conducted,” St. Luke’s said in a written statement.
The $26 million judgment against Bundy was split between compensatory and punitive damages, and includes not only Bundy personally, but also his failed gubernatorial campaign and his political organization, People’s Rights Network.
“People in a jury deciding how much St. Luke’s is going to take from those who exposed the truth about them is a mockery to justice,” Bundy said in a Twitter post Tuesday following the verdict.
Both defendants refused to appear in court, resulting in a default judgment against them. Bundy wrote in an open letter to the hospital and state officials before the jury’s decision that he could not pay any judgment because the legal battle had forced to “liquidate all my assets except a few.”
St. Luke’s said any money that they or their CEO are able to collect in the case will be donated to their program that serves children who are suspected to be victims of neglect or abuse.
Bundy is best known for leading an armed occupation of the federal Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016. A federal jury found him not guilty on all charges.
In 2022, he ran for governor of Idaho as an independent and received 17.2% of the vote.
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