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Alex Jones Ordered to Pay Nearly $50 Million in Sandy Hook Lawsuit

Alex Jones Ordered to Pay Nearly $50 Million in Sandy Hook Lawsuit

BREAKING: Alex Jones’s bank account.

A Texas jury on Friday ordered Infowars’ Alex Jones to pay $49.3 million in total damages to the parents of a first-grader killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, which the conspiracy theorist falsely called a hoax orchestrated by the government in order to tighten U.S. gun laws. Earlier this week, Jones testified that any award over $2 million would “sink us.” His company Free Speech Systems, which is Infowars’ parent company, filed for bankruptcy protection during the first week of the trial.

 

AUSTIN, TX – APRIL 18: Infowars founder Alex Jones interacts with supporters at the Texas State Capital building on April 18, 2020 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Sergio Flores/Getty Images)

The amount is less than the $150 million sought by Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis was among the 20 children and six educators killed in the deadliest classroom shooting in U.S. history. The trial is the first time Jones has been held financially liable for peddling lies about the 2012 attack in Newtown, Connecticut.

Jurors at first awarded Heslin and Lewis $4.1 million in compensatory damages, which Jones called a major victory. But in the final phase of the two-week trial, the same Austin jury came back and tacked on an additional $45.2 million in punitive damages.

 

Punitive damages are meant to punish defendants for particularly egregious conduct, beyond monetary compensation awarded to the individuals they hurt. A high punitive award is also seen as a chance for jurors to send a wider societal message and a way to deter others from the same abhorrent conduct in the future.

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Jones — who was in the courtroom briefly Friday but not there for the verdict — still faces two other defamation lawsuits from Sandy Hook families in Texas and Connecticut that put his personal wealth and media empire in jeopardy.

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