Alex Jones Loses Three Sandy Hook Defamation Lawsuits
Alex Jones, the bombastic founder of Infowars, has peddled conspiracy theories that the December 14th, 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was a false-flag event filled with “crisis actors” that was manipulated by the media. In total, the families of nine of the victims – who were among 20 of the young students that were killed in the rampage – have filed defamation suits against Jones for promoting lies about the tragedy that caused them immense pain and psychological distress as well as having subjected them to harassment and death threats.
On Thursday, Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, along with Scarlett Lewis, whose six-year-old sons Noah and Jesse – respectively – were murdered, finally got their victory.
Judge Maya Guerra Gamble of the 459th District Court in Travis County, Texas, ruled that Jones and Infowars are liable for the damage and pain their ruthless lies inflicted upon the still-grieving parents. A jury will decide how big the awards will be.
Gamble in her decision showed Jones no mercy and opined that default judgments should be rendered due to the heinous nature of Jones’s words because “an escalating series of judicial admonishments, monetary penalties, and non-dispositive sanctions have all been ineffective at deterring the abuse,” referring to Jones having ignored previous court orders to cease and desist.
“The ruling — which is often referred to in Texas as a ‘death penalty sanction’ for a party unwilling to comply with court orders — is a rarity in the legal world. Jones, who is now on his seventh lawyer in these cases, had years to provide documentation requested by the court, including internal company emails,” reported The Huffington Post.
Gamble shot down arguments by Jones’s attorney Brad Reeves that such a punishment was “excessive,” according to the court records HuffPost obtained, even though Jones has since retracted his destructively baseless claims.
“Furthermore, in considering whether lesser remedies would be effective, this Court has also considered Defendants’ general bad faith approach to litigation, Mr. Jones’ public threats, and Mr. Jones’ professed belief that these proceedings are ‘show trials’,” Gamble said.
Then, on Friday, Gamble handed down a third default judgment against Jones and Infowars in favor of Neil Heslin, whose six-year-old son Jesse was also slain in the attack.
Bill Ogden, an attorney with the law firm Farrar & Ball which represents all nine families that have sued Jones and his outlet for defamation, said in an emailed statement to HuffPost that even though death penalty judgments are “a bit of a myth” in the legal world, the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the cases left Gamble with no choice.
“We learn about death penalty sanctions in law school as more of a theory, and it’s almost unheard of to have them handed down in a case like this,” Ogden said. “However, the Sandy Hook cases are unique. It is extremely rare that a party (Alex Jones and Infowars) is ordered by the Court to comply with discovery, is sanctioned for failing to obey with the Court’s multiple Order(s), and then continues to blatantly disregard the Court’s authority by continuously refusing to comply.”