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Alex Jones loses two Sandy Hook lawsuits by default over failure to provide documents

Alex Jones loses two Sandy Hook lawsuits by default over failure to provide documents
Infamous conspiracy pundit Alex Jones has lost two of many lawsuits filed by relatives of Sandy Hook shooting victims after allegedly failing to produce documents concerning his spreading of false information about the massacre.

Jones has been found guilty by default in both cases, meaning he and the Infowars outlet will be held responsible for all damages, according to rulings by Judge Maya Guerra Gamble which were published on Thursday. A jury will decide how much he owes the plaintiffs, parents Leonard Pozner, Veronique De La Rosa, and Scarlett Lewis. 

Gamble justified the rare rulings – known as “death penalty sanctions” in Texas – by reasoning that “an escalating series of judicial admonishments, monetary penalties, and non-dispositive sanctions have all been ineffective at deterring the abuse” from Jones, who claimed that the mass shooting was faked.

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The lawsuits were filed against Jones years ago seeking recompense for “damages” caused by fans of Jones’ radio program apparently harassing the families of children killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.

Pozner and De La Rosa initially sued Jones in 2018, citing defamation over the broadcaster’s insistence that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was a “false flag” and the children killed were mere “crisis actors.” Twenty children and six adults died in the massacre.

Texas law firm Farrar & Ball is representing Pozner and De La Rosa – parents of 6-year-old shooting victim Noah Pozner – and Lewis, whose 6-year-old son Jesse also died at the school. The law firm told HuffPost on Friday that it was “not surprised by the Court’s decision” to hold Jones responsible via default judgment.

Jones has exhausted seven lawyers in the course of the case, and his current attorney Brad Reeves said last month that default judgment would be “hugely excessive” given Jones’ mere failure to turn over the discovery materials. 

However, Gamble singled out Jones’ “bad faith approach” to the lawsuit in general, his alleged “public threats,” and his claim of being subject to “show trials” to justify a legal remedy so rare that even Farrar & Ball lawyer Bill Ogden acknowledged to HuffPost that lawyers only learn about it in school as “more of a theory.”

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Ogden argued that it was “extremely rare that a party (Alex Jones and Infowars) was ordered by the Court to comply with discovery, is sanctioned for failing to obey with the Court’s multiple Order(s), and then continues to blatantly disregard the Court’s authority by continuously refusing to comply.”

While Jones has consistently complained that he dropped the Sandy Hook story long ago and no longer regards it as a hoax, one of his listeners was sentenced to five months in prison for leaving threatening voicemails on Pozner’s phone in 2017. Her sentence also forbade her from accessing Infowars, Jones’ website.

Jones attempted to appeal his case to the Supreme Court in April only to be turned down. He had already been penalized in 2019 for refusing to hand over discovery documents related to another Sandy Hook-related lawsuit.

Even more bizarrely, the radio host claimed one of the parents’ attorneys had attempted to set him up by emailing him child pornography, which later turned up when the FBI combed through his emails. It’s not clear if this is why Jones has been hesitant to turn over further documents for discovery, or what documents exactly have been requested.

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