Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was found liable Monday for damages in lawsuits brought by parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting over Jones’ claims that the massacre was a hoax.
Judge Barbara Bellis took the rare step of defaulting Jones in the defamation lawsuits for his and his companies’ “failure to produce critical material information that the plaintiffs needed to prove their claims.” The default means the judge found in favor of the parents and will hold a hearing on how much damages he should pay.
Parents’ lawyers asserted Jones and Infowars, Free Speech Systems, were in violation of court rules. They failed to give them documents including documents from the companies showing how Jones and Infowars benefited from discussing the school shooting as well other mass shootings.
“Their pattern of defying and ignoring court orders to produce responsive information is well established,” lawyers for the family wrote in a court brief in July.
Continue reading: The Families of Sandy Hook School Shooting Victims File a Wrongful Suit
Jones’ lawyers have denied violating court rules on document disclosure and have asked that Bellis be removed from the case, alleging she has not been impartial.
Recently, a Texas judge issued identical rulings against Jones. This was in response to three Sandy Hook family defamation suits. Jones was found liable for damages for defaulting on documents and for failing to turn over information. Hearings were also ordered to determine the damages.
Twenty first-graders were killed and six teachers were injured in the Newtown school shooting of 2012. Jones later stated that he doesn’t believe the massacre was an elaborate hoax.
Families of some of the school shooting victims sued Jones, Infowars and others in courts in Texas and Connecticut over the hoax conspiracy, saying they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers.