Reprinted with permission from DailyKos
On Monday, after months of hemming and hawing and delays generated by Infowars snake oil salesman Alex Jones, a judge in Waterbury, Connecticut, has ruled that Jones is liable to the families of eight people killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school mass shooting. In a "sweeping victory," Jones and his Infowars company will be liable for knowingly spreading misinformation in order to profit from it at the expense of the families of dead children.
With Monday's ruling, in addition to rulings in Texas courts over the past year, Jones is now on the hook to the families of ten people killed that terrible 2012 day in Newtown, Connecticut. After weeks of obstruction by way of delays on the part of Jones and his legal team, Judge Barbara Bellis defaulted Jones for a "failure to produce critical material information that the plaintiffs needed to prove their claims." The next hearing Jones will face will be to discuss what he owes these families in restitution.
The defamation lawsuits were filed in 2018 after years and years of Jones' profiting off the promotion of evidence-free conspiracy theories, including the grotesque delusion that the families and others seen on the press forced to speak to the public about the endless agony of losing loved ones were "crisis actors," not real parents. As a result of these heinous misinformation campaigns to generate conspiracy-theory dollars, the families of dead children have been subjected to death threats and the like over the years since the mass shooting.
Jones has tried to walk back his hours and hours of comments and false speculation. He has also attempted to obstruct discovery attempts by the families to reveal just how much money he made profiting off of their misery. It is the latter delays that led Bellis to default Jones' case. Jones' defense has called Bellis biased, but then again Bellis isn't the only judge to say the exact same thing about Jones and his attempts to obfuscate the issues being litigated in these civil trials.
The families will now bring their victories to a jury that will decide on the damages. Showing the jury video of Jones terrorizing kids and their mothers in service of immigration xenophobia will likely not be permissible in court, but you can remind yourself of the craven theater lows Jones and his conmen ilk peddle in here.
Having a judge default your case is not common and will most likely lead to an appeal on those grounds by Jones, Infowars, and their legal team. Like most things ultra conservative these days, the whining that many on the right have traditionally done about how our legal system is being abused is a projection of their own decrepitude.
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