Alex Jones Could Owe Millions More To Parents Of Sandy Hook Victims: Here’s Why He’s On Trial Again

Topline

Alex Jones and his company Infowars are set to pay millions to parents of students killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in a defamation lawsuit that opens in Connecticut on Tuesday, more than a month after jury in Texas ordered Infowars host to pay nearly $50. million – a blow to Jones and his controversial far-right platform.

Highlights

A six-member jury in Connecticut State Court will decide how much Jones should pay 15 plaintiffs, representing eight victims and former FBI agent William Aldenberg – who responded to the shooting – for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violations of the state’s Unfair Trading Practices Act, using false claims to increase its audience and sell more merchandise.

The trial in Connecticut will only decide how much money Jones will have to pay – he has already been convicted (in Connecticut and Texas) of defamation after refusing to provide court-ordered documents.

The students’ parents claim they were harassed by Jones supporters and received death threats over his conspiracy theories, including false allegations that the students’ parents lied about the shooting — even that the students were paid actors hired by the Democrats.

It comes just over a month after Jones was ordered to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages and $4.1 million in compensatory damages to the parents of a 6-year-old student – one of 26 students and teachers killed in the massacre – in Texas just over a month ago.

The payout could be higher in Connecticut, where the state’s Trade Practices Act does not impose a limit on punitive damages (Texas caps it at $750,000 per parent, and an attorney representing Jones has said he would try to reduce it to $1.5 million in total, Reuters reported).

Key Context

Jones’ legal troubles began in 2018, when the families of 10 Sandy Hook shooting victims filed four libel lawsuits against him and parent company Infowars Free Speech Systems, six years after a man armed killed 20 first graders and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Jones had tried to delay proceedings and bankrupt his business in an attempt to stop the legal process, although the case was dismissed after the parents intervened, calling it a “blocking tactic”. His company agreed to stand trial last month. The families of nine victims also took him to federal bankruptcy court in Texas last month, asking a judge to order him to relinquish control of his business after he ‘transferred millions of dollars’ to himself – a judge of Texas could hear the Discovery Families movement on Tuesday.

Large number

$270 million. That’s what Jones and Free Speech Systems are worth, according to a forensic psychiatrist who testified in the Texas lawsuit, with a low estimate of $130 million.

Contra

Jones has since admitted the shooting was real, though last month he called the Texas trial judge and prosecution ‘demonic possessed’ and members of a ‘new world order cult ideology’ on Infowars . He showed up at the Texas courthouse with a piece of duct tape over his mouth that read “Save the 1st.”

Further reading

Alex Jones ordered to pay $4.1 million to parents of Sandy Hook shooting victim (Forbes)

Alex Jones’ Infowars site files bankruptcy suit – Here are the lawsuits that resulted in millions in legal fees (Forbes)

“Do you know what perjury is?” : Alex Jones’ attorneys apparently passed his damning texts to opposing counsel (Forbes)

Jury hits Alex Jones with $45 million in punitive damages over Sandy Hook conspiracy allegations (Forbes)

Alex Jones Calls Sandy Hook Trial Judge ‘Demonically Possessed’ Just Before He Prepares to Testify (Forbes)

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