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Hospital sues Ammon Bundy, others involved in Boise protests over child welfare case

By Ian Max Stevenson

BOISE, Idaho — St. Luke’s Health System has filed a lawsuit against far-right Idaho gubernatorial candidate Ammon Bundy and others involved in a slew of protests in March related to a child protective services case — protests that prompted the hospital to go on lockdown.

The St. Luke’s complaint was filed in Ada County on Wednesday, with Bundy; his activist organization, the People’s Rights Network; and Diego Rodriguez, a Bundy campaign adviser and the grandfather of the child involved in the case, as named defendants.

Other defendants are Bundy’s campaign, and a website and political action committee operated by Rodriguez.

In March, police took custody of a 10-month-old baby at a gas station in Garden City after authorities said they feared the baby’s weight loss was potentially life threatening. Bundy drove to St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center that same evening and eventually was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing.

Over the ensuing days, protesters gathered at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center, where they believed the baby was being cared for, and at the private homes of individuals involved in the case.

“The complaint alleges there was a concerted effort to disrupt St. Luke’s business through false statements related to care and repeated defamation of St. Luke’s parties,” said a Wednesday statement from St. Luke’s.

The hourlong lockdown “interfered with St. Luke’s ability to provide care for our community,” according to the statement.

“It is important for us to stand up to the bullying, intimidation and disruption, and the self-serving and menacing actions of these individuals, for the protection of our employees and patients, and to ensure our ability to serve our community,” St. Luke’s President and CEO Chris Roth said in the statement.

The lawsuit aims to force the defendants to cease “ongoing harassment and to remove defamatory and false material they have posted and shared online,” according to the St. Luke’s statement. It also asks for $50,000 in damages, which the hospital said would be donated to a St. Luke’s program that evaluates children for alleged abuse.

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Dive Deeper:
After targeted protests, GOP senators say home addresses should not be public
BOISE, Idaho — Idaho’s U.S. senators have proposed a bill they say would limit targeted protests at the homes of…
‘Republican and more Republican’: Idaho shifts ever rightward
In a state where legislators can boast of membership in the Oath Keepers, the fringe has become mainstream
No Pseudonymity for Doctor's Claim of Employment Retaliation by University of Colorado
From a decision this morning by Magistrate Judge Reid Neureiter (D. Colo.) in Doe v. Regents of Univ. of Colo.:…
Shareholder: Amazon's 'astronomical' misuse of customer data could ruin company
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One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Doctors booked after two newborns die in private hospital
HYDERABAD
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: A timeline of their relationship, allegations, and court battles
As Depp’s $50m defamation lawsuit plays out in court in Virginia, Clémence Michallon looks at the former couple’s legal history
Get all your news in one place