A Texas jury has ordered Alex Jones to pay approximately $45.2 million for spreading a false conspiracy theory about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The punitive damages come on top of a $4.1 million judgment issued yesterday, potentially dealing a major blow to Jones’ Infowars media empire. But the numbers could be greatly reduced by limits built into the Texas legal code, which limits damages for defamation penalties.
The jury on Friday reversed its verdict after hearing testimonies about Jones’ finances — something he reportedly important steps taken to darken. It including a review that Jones’ Free Speech Systems company was worth at least $130 million; previous testimonials indicated that annual sales have been $50 million or more in recent years. Jones claimed in court that a $2 million or more fine could “sink” Infowars.
As Bloomberg explainsTexas law limits punitive damages to twice the level of compensatory economic damages per defendant plus a maximum of $750,000 for noneconomic damages. Jones’s attorneys plan to file a fine reduction based on that rule, something prosecutors’ lawyers said. Bloomberg they will “certainly litigate” if necessary.
This concludes one of three trials involving the parents of children who were murdered at Sandy Hook in 2012, an event that Jones and other Infowars employees have staged. The plaintiffs – Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin – had requested $150 million.