Alex Jones and his company Free Speech Systems owe an additional $473 million in punitive damages to eight families who lost children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre as well as an FBI agent, Connecticut Judge Barbara Bellis ordered Nov. 10.
Conspiracy theorist and Sandy Hook-denier Alex Jones owes $965 million in defamation and emotional distress damages to the families of eight Sandy Hook victims and an FBI agent, a Connecticut jury decided Wednesday. The ruling comes just weeks after Jones was ordered to pay nearly $50 million in damages to a pair of Sandy Hook parents in a separate trial in Texas in August.
The motion, filed Aug. 25 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, says Jones has “systematically transferred millions of dollars” to himself and relatives, despite the company filing for bankruptcy to allegedly avoid paying damages to the families. In a response filed Aug. 28, Jones’ attorneys state that the families’ “motion is brimming with inaccuracies and allegations that have no basis in fact.”
First Amendment Watch asked notable and thoughtful media legal scholars to reveal what this outcome reveals and portends for other Sandy Hook families who filed defamation suits, another in Texas and the third in Connecticut, slated to start next month. Media and legal scholars George Freeman, Lyrissa Lidsky, Lynn Oberlander and Timothy Zick weigh in.
In a 10-day trial filled with bellicose theatrics, rebukes and grief, the jury in the Alex Jones defamation case decided Friday that Jones owes Sandy Hook parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis $45.2 million in punitive damages.
On January 22nd, the Texas Supreme Court rejected conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ request to toss four defamation lawsuits filed by parents whose children died in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The suits claim that Jones' statements calling the mass shooting a “giant hoax,” and accusing the parents of faking their children’s death were defamatory and caused the families emotional distress.
The judge has ordered Jones to pay Heslin $22,250 in attorney fees, making the total amount Jones now owes Neil Heslin just under $150,000.