Alex Jones, maybe the country’s most famous conspiracy theorist, will go on trial again.
He will go on trial again for calling the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting a hoax and inflicting emotional and psychological harm on a number of the victims’ families.
The upcoming trial is just a month after he lost a nearly $50 million verdict against him.
In Connecticut, a six-person jury with several substitutes will start hearing evidence on Tuesday to determine the compensation amount Jones should pay the families since he has already been found liable for their injuries.
The trial is expected to last approximately four weeks.
The parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who died in the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, along with 26 other kids and instructors, were awarded $49.3 million by a Texas jury last month.
Jones’s lawyer said that the case will be taken to court.
The award in the Connecticut case could be bigger because it is made up of three lawsuits that have been combined.
There are 15 plaintiffs in the case, including relatives of nine victims and a former FBI agent who responded to the school shooting.
Jones runs his web show and the Infowars brand out of Austin, Texas.
Sandy Hook parents are also suing him for a third time over the hoax conspiracy in a lawsuit still in the works in Texas.
Why Are The Sandy Hook Parents Suing Jones?
The families and William Aldenberg, a former FBI agent, say Jones’s followers have confronted and bothered them in person because of the hoax conspiracy.
They also say that people have threatened to kill them and abused them on social media.
Some of the plaintiffs say that strangers filmed them and their surviving children.
Some families have left Newtown to avoid harassment and death threats.
Neil Heslin, Jesse Lewis’s father, said during the Texas trial, “I can’t even describe the last nine and a half years, the living hell that I and others have had to endure because of the recklessness and negligence of Alex Jones.”
The Connecticut lawsuit claims violations of the state’s Unfair Trade Practices Act as well as defamation and intentional infliction of mental distress.
The Unfair Trade Practices Act has no cap on damages.
The families claim that when Jones discussed Sandy Hook, he attracted greater attention and made more money from the sale of supplements, apparel, and other goods.
How Has Jones Responded?
Jones now says he thinks the shooting was real, which is the opposite of what he said on his show for years after the shooting.
But he insists that his comments about the shooting being a fake made by “crisis actors” to push for gun control are protected by his right to free speech.
Jones kept his stand and claimed he wasn’t to blame for the suffering Sandy Hook parents claim he inflicted with his statements during a deposition in the case in April.
He has also said that the judges’ decisions to find him guilty without a trial were unfair and that they might be part of a plan to put him out of business and shut him up.
“If questioning public events and free speech is banned because it might hurt somebody’s feelings, we are not in America anymore,” he said at the deposition.
“They can change the channel. They can come out and say I’m wrong. They have free speech.”
But Jones said at the Texas trial that he now knows what he said was careless and hurt people’s feelings, and he apologized.
What Should We Expect At The Trial?
Judge Barbara Bellis, who will preside over the trial, deemed Jones liable for the harms.
She presided over the Sandy Hook families’ lawsuit against Remington, which produced the Bushmaster rifle used in the school shooting.
Remington agreed to pay $73 million in February to end the lawsuit.
The trial will probably resemble the one in Texas in that victims’ relatives will likely testify about the suffering and agony the hoax conspiracy caused them, and doctors will likely field inquiries regarding the relatives’ mental health and diagnoses.
Jones will also testify, said Norman Pattis, Jones’s lawyer.
“He is looking forward to putting this trial behind him; it has been a long and costly distraction,” Pattis wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
The jury is also likely to hear evidence about Jones’s finances.
A defendant is also Free Speech Systems, the parent business of Infowars, which has applied for bankruptcy protection.
Jones said at the Texas trial that any award over $2 million would “sink us,” He asked viewers of his web show to buy his products to help keep him on the air and fight the lawsuits.
Jones and his company may be valued up to $270 million, according to an economist.
After the relatives of the Sandy Hook victims started suing Jones, he is now facing another lawsuit in Texas over claims that he concealed millions of dollars in assets.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys
The personal injury lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have helped many victims get the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one feel that you are the victim of a personal injury accident or mental anguish caused by negligence, contact us for a free consultation.