A judge ruled that Infowars host Alex Jones is liable for damage in defamation lawsuits stemming from the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. Parents of children killed in the school shooting sued Jones, who claimed that the shooting was “a giant hoax.”
Alex Jones Liable For Damages In Defamation Lawsuits
State Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis found Alex Jone in default over the defamation lawsuits. She said that Jone and his company failed to produce the material information needed to prove their claims.
By declaring Jones in default, Bellis decided in favor of the Sandy Hook parents. As a result, she will hold a hearing to determine how much Alex Jones should pay in damages.
This is Jones’ fourth defamation lawsuit defeat over Sandy Hook. Three of his losing cases are in Texas. Chris Mattei, an attorney representing the families who sued Jones, issued a statement Monday.
“While the families are grateful for the Court’s ruling, they remain focused on uncovering the truth. Alex Jones and his companies have deliberately concealed evidence of the relationship between what they publish and how they make money.
Mr. Jones was given every opportunity to comply but, when he chose instead to withhold evidence for more than two years, the Court was left with no choice but to rule as it did today.
While today’s ruling is a legal victory, the battle to shed light on how deeply Mr. Jones has harmed these families continues,” he said.
Alex Jones Not Done Fighting
Meanwhile, Jones’ attorney Norm Pattis indicated that his client wasn't done fighting. “Thank God for appellate courts. The ruling is founded neither in law nor fact.
Indeed, we had appealed Judge Bellis’s decision to refuse to step aside to the state Supreme Court on Friday. We remain confident that, in the end, the Sandy Hook families cannot prove either liability or damages. We think their lawyers know this; hence, the desperate effort to obtain a default,” he said.
The Infowars host outraged Sandy Hook parents by claiming the school shooting was a staged event. In particular, Jones said that Crisis actors simulated the shooting to overturn the Second Amendment.
However, Jones later acknowledged that the shooting actually happened. His lawyers described his comments as “rhetorical hyperbole” and denied that it was defamation.
Alex Jones Failed To Provide Proof For His Claims
However, the parents’ lawyers insisted that Jones and his companies, Infowars and Free Speech Systems, needed to prove his claims.
By not turning over documents that showed he profited over talking about Sandy Hook, Jones violated court rules.
Lawyers wanted to present internal company documents from Jones’ companies. Specifically, they want to show that Jones and Infowars made money from the controversy.
In addition, a Texas judge also issued a default judgment against Jones in two defamation lawsuits. Travis County District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble ruled that Jones and his companies are liable for damages.
“The Court finds that Defendants’ failure to comply … is greatly aggravated by (their) consistent pattern of discovery abuse throughout similar cases pending before this Court,” Gamble wrote.
“The Court finds that Defendants’ discovery conduct, in this case, is the result of flagrant bad faith and callous disregard for the responsibilities of discovery under the rules,” she added.
In addition, Gamble scored Jones for his “bad faith approach to litigation,” as well as his public threats and his claims that these are ‘show trials.’”
Jury To Decide How Much Alex Jones Will Pay
Meanwhile, a jury will convene later on to decide how much Jones will pay the plaintiffs. This includes Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, the parents of Sandy Hook victim Noah Pozner, 6.
It also includes Scarlett Lewis, the mother of another victim Jesse Lewis, 6. Noah and Jesse were two of the 20 first-graders killed at Sandy Hook.
A gunman barged into the school in December 2012 and opened fire. Six school staff members also died in the shooting.
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