Alex Jones verdict: Jury awards family of a Sandy Hook victim more than $45 million in punitive damages

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  2 weeks ago  •  15 comments

By:   Safia Samee Ali

Alex Jones verdict: Jury awards family of a Sandy Hook victim more than $45 million in punitive damages
A Texas jury on Friday ordered Alex Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the parents of a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



A Texas jury on Friday ordered Alex Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the parents of a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim, a day after deciding the Infowars host must pay them $4.1 million in compensatory damages for the suffering caused by his lies about the 2012 massacre.

Wesley Ball, an attorney for Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse, was killed in the attack in Newtown, Connecticut, had asked the jury to award them $149.5 million to reach the $150 million they initially sought.

Ball argued that only such a large sum would be enough to "take the bullhorn away" from Jones.

"I ask that with your verdict, you not only take Alex Jones' platform that he talks about away. I ask that you make sure that he can't rebuild the platform. That's what matters," he said. "That is punishment, that is deterrence."

Jones' attorney Andino Reynal told jurors they had already sent a message to Jones and other talk show hosts with the $4.1 million judgment that "their standard of care has to be different." He also argued that a substantial award would only serve to discourage people who question "government officials who dropped the ball" from doing so.

Reynal objected to the decision, arguing that the verdict did not comply with Texas law, which caps the actual award at $750,000 per plaintiff. The judge acknowledged the objection and added that the law implies that in the state "we don't trust our juries."

Punitive damages are intended to punish someone for especially harmful behavior.

The jury's decision followed expert testimony from forensic economist Bernard Pettingill whose testimony was intended to give jurors a picture of how much money Jones has and, by extension, how much it would take to punish him for his behavior. Pettingill estimated that Jones and his companies are worth $135 million to $270 million — an amount his defense team disputed — and said that Jones and his companies made more money after being "deplatformed" by several social media outlets in 2018. Jones has maintained throughout the trial that his companies suffered losses since he was removed from the sites.

Pettingill also testified that Jones began paying $11,000 a day into a shell company he controls after he was found liable in a default judgment in the Sandy Hook case.

"He is a very successful man," he testified. "He promulgated some hate speech and some misinformation but he made a lot of money and he monetized that."

The jury in this case had only been asked to decide whether Jones, who has already been found liable by a judge because he did not hand over critical evidence before the trial began, must also pay Jesse's parents for the emotional distress and reputational damage caused by his false claims.

The trial included testimony from both parents and Jones, who has portrayed the lawsuit as an attack on his First Amendment rights. Following the massacre, he had asserted that it was fabricated and included crisis actors. He later acknowledged that it took place.

Heslin and Lewis testified Tuesday that Jones' lies left them in fear for their lives and compounded their grief.

"Having a 6-year-old son shot in front of his classroom is unbearable and you don't think you're going to survive and then to have someone on top of that perpetuate a lie that it was a hoax, that it was a false flag," Lewis said, speaking directly to Jones during her testimony. "I don't think you understand the fear you perpetuate, not just to the victim's family but to our family, our friends and any survivor from that school."

The crux of the trial is a 2017 episode of NBC's "Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly," on which Heslin appeared and challenged Jones' denial of the shooting. Heslin says in the episode: "I held my son with a bullet hole through his head."

Jones and another Infowars host, Owen Shroyer, later implied that Heslin had lied.

Heslin and Lewis are among several Sandy Hook families who have filed lawsuits against Jones arguing that his statements that the mass shooting was a hoax have led to years of abuse from his followers.


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devangelical
Professor Principal
1  devangelical    2 weeks ago

... and the hits keep on coming. too bad this is just the beginning. bwah ha ha ha ha

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
1.1  cjcold  replied to  devangelical @1    2 weeks ago

With any luck, that will ruin Jones.

 
 
 
Freefaller
Professor Participates
1.1.1  Freefaller  replied to  cjcold @1.1    2 weeks ago

I doubt it and am guessing he's got money hidden in offshore accounts

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
1.1.2  cjcold  replied to  Freefaller @1.1.1    one week ago

I was speaking of credibility.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2  Tessylo  replied to  devangelical @1    2 weeks ago

You're correct.  It's just beginning for this scumbag!

He's also connected to the 1/6 trumpturd domestic terrorist failed insurrection/coup.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
2  Gsquared    2 weeks ago

There isn't enough money that could possibly compensate this couple for what Jones put them through, much less for what the murderer did.  The jury award is actually a decent amount, but if Texas really has a $750,000 per person cap on the award, that is draconian and, frankly, disgusting.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
2.1  pat wilson  replied to  Gsquared @2    one week ago

I think in Texas the cap is double the compensatory award, still not enough. There's no words for the horrors he visited on these families.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Professor Guide
3  Thrawn 31    2 weeks ago

Jones deserves to be a beggar on the streets. It takes a complete asshole through and through to try and profit off of slandering dead children and their grieving parents by claiming they never existed to begin with and everyone is faking it.  

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
3.1  Gsquared  replied to  Thrawn 31 @3    2 weeks ago
Jones deserves to be a beggar on the streets.

Agreed 100%.

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
3.1.1  cjcold  replied to  Gsquared @3.1    one week ago

Since Perrie doesn't allow death threats here.............................................

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4  Kavika     2 weeks ago

It's my understanding that he has a few more trials coming up. Hopefully, everything that he owns will be taken from him and he can live as a homeless person for the rest of his miserable life. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
4.1  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @4    2 weeks ago

he can share an overpass bridge with mike lindell.

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
4.1.1  cjcold  replied to  devangelical @4.1    one week ago

At least they'll have a pillow.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  cjcold @4.1.1    one week ago

jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif

I can't believe that moron Lindell isn't bankrupt with the millions he's spent in that fucking moron trumpturd's defense and still spending

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
4.1.3  devangelical  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.2    one week ago

that stupid fuck lindell blurts out in an interview in denver that he gave tina peters, the embattled election denying clerk in colorado under multiple state and federal investigations, $800K for her legal defense, which she didn't report. then he got served in another dominion related lawsuit. what a burned out crackhead moron.

 
 

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