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Verdicts & Settlements

Federal Judge: Sandy Hook Families Can Continue Defamation Suit Against Alex Jones

— August 16, 2022

A jury is soon expected to determine Jones’s civil liability for spreading misinformation and baseless conspiracy theories about the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting.

A Connecticut-based federal bankruptcy judge has cleared the way for Sandy Hook families to continue their defamation lawsuit against controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

According to The Associated Press, the lawsuit was filed by the relatives of victims of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

As has reported before, Jones repeatedly suggested that the nation’s deadliest primary school shooting—which left twenty students and six educators dead—was a planned hoax.

While Jones’ attorneys had sought to transfer the case from a Connecticut state court to a federal bankruptcy court, thereby stalling an impending trial, Judge Julie Manning’s Monday ruling will allow the families to continue their defamation claim against the Infowars host.

“The plaintiffs’ rights to have that process continue in the Connecticut Superior Court should not be disturbed,” Manning wrote in the decision.

However, The Associated Press notes that Manning did dismiss Free Speech Systems, a company co-owned by Jones and another defendant, from the lawsuit.

Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy in Texas shortly before Jones requested that the defamation lawsuit be transferred to federal court.

Christopher Mattei, an attorney for the plaintiffs, praised Manning’s decision.

Sandy Hook Elementary School
Sandy Hook Elementary School; image courtesy of VOA via Wikimedia Commons,

“We’re grateful the bankruptcy court saw through Alex Jones’s brazen effort to block a jury from being empaneled and holding him accountable,” Mattei said in a statement. “We look forward to a trial.”

Jones is currently facing legal proceedings in both Texas and Connecticut.

In both states, courts have already ruled in favor of the Sandy Hook families. Earlier this month, a Texas jury ordered Jones to pay a single Sandy Hook parent an estimated $45.2 million in punitive damages, in addition to $4.1 million he must pay for inflicting emotional pain and suffering.

Jones’s attorneys have already signaled that they intend to appeal the jury decision, hoping to lower the amount significantly.

However, Jones’s financial liability in the Connecticut claim has yet to be determined by a jury.

The Connecticut jury, says The Associated Press, will decide the extent of the damages—if any—that Jones must pay.

Jones has maintained that he is innocent of any and all wrongdoing. The Texas Tribune observes that the conspiracy theorist has repeatedly portrayed himself as the victim of a protracted media disinformation campaign. According to Jones, journalists “stole” his “identity” and recast him as a “monster” for simply exercising his First Amendment rights to free speech.


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