What to Know
- Nearly a month after a baby was taken from a Miami hospital by leaders of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, the family plans to file lawsuit.
- The lawsuit will charge Miccosukee Tribe officials with false imprisonment, conspiracy and defamation, according to a news release.
- Both Baptist and the tribe are accused of tort of outrage and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to statement.
Nearly a month after a newborn was taken from a Miami-Dade hospital by leaders of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, the father of the child is filing a lawsuit against the tribe and Baptist Hospital to “seek justice following [the] traumatic incident.”
The lawsuit was filed in Circuit Court in Miami on Friday. The infant’s parents – Rebecca Sanders and Justin Johnson – are being represented by Richard Wolfe of Wolfe Law Miami and Maximilian Steiner of Steiner Law.
The lawsuit accuses Miccosukee Tribe officials with false imprisonment, conspiracy and defamation, while both Baptist and the tribe are accused of intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Baby Ingrid Johnson was only a few days old when a Miccosukee Police detective entered Baptist Hospital and, on tribal orders, took the infant away. The baby’s maternal grandmother, Betty Osceola, filed the order, saying she wanted to keep Ingrid away from Justin Johnson, according to Osceola’s attorney Spencer West.
Now, Johnson is suing the Miccosukee detective, along with Osceola. He is also suing a tribal judge and one of the nurses at Baptist Hospital.
According to the initial tribal order, the grandmother claimed the father was violent toward Sanders while she was pregnant.
"The grandmother doesn’t want full custody of the baby, the grandmother doesn’t want full custody of the older children. She wants the children to go back to the mother, but she doesn’t want them to be subjected to abuse," West said in a previous interview.
Sanders and Johnson denied those claims, with Johnson calling them "false." The couple claims Osceola is upset and does not want Johnson, who is white, in the child’s life.
In a statement sent to NBC 6, Baptist Hospital said they are unable to comment on the specifics of pending litigation.
"We feel for everyone involved in this challenging circumstance," the hospital said. "It is our policy to be in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations and to work in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards."