BOISE, Idaho — Gubernatorial candidate and far-right activist Ammon Bundy addressed why he is ignoring the lawsuit against him, filed by St. Luke's Health System -- and he said it's because attending court and spending money on legal fees is a distraction from his campaign.
Bundy and his associate Diego Rodriguez have continually been absent for their court hearings over the claims. On Tuesday, a judge sanctioned them, requiring the two to sit for a deposition. If they don't, they could be held criminally contempt.
The lawsuit, filed in May, accused the Bundy, Rodriguez and their political organizations of a "coordinated campaign of harassment and intimidation" that caused the hospital to go into lockdown after multiple protests, forcing ambulances to divert from the area and keeping doctors, nurses, and other employees from entering or leaving the building.
In a Facebook video on Wednesday, Bundy said the reason he is avoiding the lawsuit is because he doesn't want it to distract him from running his campaign. The correct thing to do, he said, is avoid the suit until a default judgement is entered.
"The judge will order a default judgement against me, and St. Luke's will try to collect," he said. "The best thing to do is not to let them distract me."
The protest stemmed from Rodriguez’s grandson, known as “Baby Cyrus,” being taken into child protective services and hospitalized due to malnutrition. Bundy and Rodriguez encouraged their followers to attend these protests, where many of them ended up doxxing judges, attorneys, healthcare workers and social workers associated with Cyrus’ case.
The two were served with the lawsuit earlier this year, which cites its aim is to make Bundy and Rodriguez remove false statements about the hospital online as well as stop ongoing harassment, which contributed to the doxxing of healthcare workers and judges. It also includes more than $50,000 in monetary damages.
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