A landmark decision was reached on Thursday by a federal bankruptcy judge, stating that the controversial host of Infowars, Alex Jones, cannot hide behind bankruptcy proceedings to evade the more than $1.1 billion he owes to the families of Sandy Hook shooting victims.
This immense financial burden stems from a civil defamation case the families won against Jones in Connecticut just last year.
A Bid to Secure Justice
The Sandy Hook families, determined to see justice done, filed a motion back in May.
They sought to ensure Jones would be compelled to pay the trial damages in full, and thereby eliminate the potential of him leveraging Chapter 11 proceedings to lower the sum. Such a maneuver could have seen Jones liquidating his broadcast company, paying out a significantly reduced sum to the families.
This would have paved the way for him to potentially kick-start a new company, unburdened by the heavy financial claims looming over him. Last December, following the judgement ordering him to pay almost $1.5 billion in the Connecticut case, Jones declared personal bankruptcy.
This case was notably initiated by the family members of eight individuals killed in the shooting, alongside a first responder who attended the tragic scene. Controversial Claims Fuel the Case The lawsuit against Jones was anchored in his unfounded allegations about the devastating December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
This harrowing event resulted in the death of 26 individuals, 20 of whom were innocent children. Jones, along with other Infowars affiliates, not only labeled the tragedy a fabrication but also had the audacity to accuse the grieving families of acting out a crisis for the public eye.
US Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez, based in Texas, delivered a ruling that leaned in favor of the families who had achieved victory in their Connecticut trial. However, he made an exception regarding the over $322.5 million awarded to them in common-law punitive damages.
These funds, in accordance with Connecticut law, are typically designated for covering attorney fees and other associated legal costs. Judge Lopez also passed judgment on a similar request for summary judgment. This was submitted by two additional groups of parents of the shooting victims, who had also filed lawsuits against Jones and his company, but in Texas.