Sandy Hook Parents To Receive $45.2 Million In Punitive Damages From Alex Jones
The jury’s previous verdict, for compensatory damages, was (dollar)4.1 million to a couple whose child died at Sandy Hook.
For falsely asserting that the tragic 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting was a “hoax,” a Texas jury on Friday sentenced US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay (dollar)45.2 million in punitive damages.
The verdict came a day after the same jury awarded a couple whose child died at Sandy Hook (dollar)4.1 million in compensatory damages for the emotional stress brought on by Jones’ years-long dissemination of lies on his InfoWars online and radio talk shows.
The enormous settlement obtained from Jones, who amassed a large following for his frequently ludicrous conspiracy theories, validated the lawsuits brought by the families of some of the 20 schoolchildren and six adults who were killed by a 20-year-old man in one of the deadliest school shootings in American history.
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the plaintiffs in the Texas case and the parents of Jesse, 6, received the total judgment of (dollar)49.3 million.
Jones, a fervent supporter of the late president Donald Trump, maintained on InfoWars for years that the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, was “staged” by pro-gun control activists.
Although he later said it was “100% real,” the Sandy Hook families insisted that his denial and his capacity to shape the opinions of thousands of followers led to actual psychological harm.
He was also charged with making enormous sums of money by spreading falsehoods and misleading information.
For the 48-year-old Jones, the verdict is probably not the end of his legal troubles.
Multiple defamation lawsuits filed by the parents of Sandy Hook victims have resulted in his liability, with the Texas case being the first to proceed to the damages phase.
As a participant in the Trump supporters’ assault on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, he is also being investigated.
Wesley Ball, the lawyer for the parents who filed the case, urged the jury to reject false information during the hearing held in advance of the decision on Friday.
He said, “You have the power to send a message to everyone in this nation and maybe the entire world.”
“Stop Alex Jones, that is.
Stop making money off of lies and false information, he added.
Stopping Alex Jones eliminates the core of his message, which is based on hate and fear.
The amount of (dollar)45.2 million was nearly the maximum permitted in…
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