Court orders Alex Jones to pay $49.3M in punitive damages to the Sandy Hook parents

An economist testified that Jones and the Infowars company are worth up to $270 million, suggesting that Jones was still making money. (AP Archive)

A Texas jury has ordered Alex Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the parents of a child killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in addition to the $4.1 million he must pay for the suffering he caused them by falsely claiming for years that the nation's deadliest school shooting was a hoax.

The total amount of $49.3 million is less than the $150 million requested by Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis. Her 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis was among the 20 children and six educators slain in the bloodiest school shooting in U.S. history.

The trial, however, is the first time Jones has been held financially responsible for spreading false information about the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

Lewis stated that Jones had been held accountable following the verdict. She said that as she took the stand and stared Jones in the eye, she thought of her son, who was credited with saving lives by yelling "run" when the murderer paused his rampage.

Lewis stated, "He stood up to the bully Adam Lanza and saved nine of his classmates’ lives," "I hope I did this extraordinary bravery credit when I confronted Alex Jones, who is also a bully. I hope this motivates others to do the same."

Jones testified last week that any award above $2 million would "sink us." His company, Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Infowars, filed for bankruptcy in the first week of the trial.

Strong message

Attorneys for the family had urged jurors to impose a severe financial penalty to shut down Infowars.

Friday, Wesley Ball, a lawyer for the parents, told the jury, "You have the ability to stop this man from ever doing it again," "Send the word to people who wish to speak freely: speech is unrestricted. You pay for lies."

An economist testified on Friday that Jones and his company are worth as much as $270 million, implying that Jones is still profitable.

According to Bernard Pettingill, the plaintiffs retained to assess Jones' net worth; Jones withdrew $62 million in 2021 when default judgments were filed in litigation against him.

This number indicates, in my perspective, a net worth, as stated by Pettingill. He has money stashed away in a bank account.

According to Pettingill, who has testified in nearly 1,500 instances for his career, the money that goes through Jones's firms eventually reaches him.

However, the attorneys for Jones argued that their client had already learned his lesson and that the fine should be less than $300,000.

"You have previously sent a message. A message to a talk show host, and to all talk show hosts, that their standard of care must change for the first time "Andino Reynal, the lead attorney representing Jones, stated.

Publish : 2022-08-06 07:53:00

Give Your Comments