Jury Awards Almost $1 Billion To Sandy Hook Families!

A Connecticut jury decided on Wednesday that right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones owes at least $965 million to the families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting for falsely claiming that they were actors who fabricated the tragedy.

A state court in Waterbury, Connecticut, reached the judgement after three weeks of testimony, significantly exceeding the $49 million a jury in Texas ordered Jones to pay in August in a similar case brought by two other Sandy Hook parents.

Both Jones and Free Speech Systems LLC, the business that owns the Infowars website, are bound by the Connecticut ruling. The company FSS declared bankruptcy in July.

More than a dozen families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012 were represented by lawyers in the lawsuit filed in Connecticut. For years, Jones maintained that the tragedy was actually a government-orchestrated hoax designed to disarm the American people.

The jury has also recommended that the plaintiffs be given their attorneys fees, which will be decided in November.

Jones announced during the live show that he would be appealing the judgement and that the bankruptcy proceedings already underway at his company would serve as temporary protection for Infowars.

In other words, were fighting Goliath, he declared.

The attorney for Jones did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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Outside the courthouse, family attorney Christopher Mattei said the conviction was a verdict for truth and for our shared humanity and against Alex Jones, his lies and their poisonous spread.

One of the plaintiffs, Robbie Parker, expressed his gratitude to the jury outside of the courthouse. Parker testified that everyone who took the stand stated the truth. With the lone exception of. A person who openly claims to engage in such activity. In contrast, he was standing here making false statements while the truth was being presented in court.

Last year, a default decision found Jones accountable for failing to follow court directions.

As part of his closing statements last week, Mattei said that Jones had benefited financially for years as a result of spreading false information about the incident.

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Infowars revenue between 2016 and 2018 was $165 million, according to trial testimony that is not publicly available. According to testimony given in Texas, an economist has determined that Jones is worth anywhere from $135 million to $270 million.

Although the bankruptcy of FSS will reduce the amount of money available to the Sandy Hook families, a plaintiffs attorney who is not involved in the case, Brian Kabateck, says that if a judge rules that Jones company intentionally harmed the families, the families could pursue other assets from Jones.

According to Kabatecks comments to Reuters, the underlying conduct was atrocious, and its the kind of thing that may push you beyond the limits of the bankruptcy.

Kabateck claims that even if Jones hasnt declared bankruptcy on a personal level, the same rules would apply in that situation.

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Mattei claims that Jones followers have been harassing and threatening the families for over a decade.

Mattei told the jury, Alex Jones planted his foot right on top of them. Each of the families was drowning in despair, he said.

In rebuttal, Joness attorney argued that the plaintiffs had shown insufficient evidence of monetary losses. Norman Pattis, the defence counsel, asked the jury to put aside their political beliefs and focus solely on the evidence.

Pattis emphasised that this is not a case about politics. As the saying goes, it all comes down to how much money we give the plaintiffs in return.

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An attorney and defamation expert who was not engaged in the case, Douglas E. Mirell, said the large verdict was a message of revulsion from the jury.

According to Mirell, Jones is paying the price for his failure to own up to the mendacity and lies that he peddled time and time again over many years.

Weeks of heartbreaking testimony from the victims loved ones flooded the courtroom as they took turns describing how Jones fabrications about Sandy Hook added insult to injury. Among the plaintiffs was an FBI agent who had responded to the scene of the incident.

Jones, who has now admitted that the shooting did take place, also testified, briefly destabilising the trial as he raged against his liberal critics and refused to apologise to the families.

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Another jury in Austin, Texas, where Jones Infowars conspiracy theory website is headquartered, ruled in favour of Sandy Hook parents in a similar case in August, ordering Jones and his firm to pay $49.3 million in damages.

Joness attorneys have stated their desire to have a judge throw out a large portion of the payout in the Texas case because they believe it is excessive.

Jones may appeal the ruling on other grounds, but Connecticut law does not impose damage caps.

When asked how long it would take to implement the verdict, Mattei replied, as long as it takes, since thats what justice requires.

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