Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was found liable Monday for damages in lawsuits brought by parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting over Jones’ claims that the massacre was a hoax.
Judge Barbara Bellis took the rare step of defaulting Jones in the defamation lawsuits for his and his companies’ “failure to produce critical material information that the plaintiffs needed to prove their claims.” The default means the judge found in favor of the parents and will hold a hearing on how much damages he should pay.
The parents’ lawyers claimed Jones and Infowars, as well as Free Speech Systems and Infowars, had violated court regulations by failing to hand over documents, which included documents from within the company showing how and if Jones and Infowars made money talking about the shooting at school and other mass shootings.
“Their pattern of defying and ignoring court orders to produce responsive information is well established,” lawyers for the family wrote in a court brief in July.
Jones’ lawyers have denied violating court rules on document disclosure and have asked that Bellis be removed from the case, alleging she has not been impartial.
In Texas, Jones received similar judgments from a Texas judge in defamation cases brought in by Sandy Hook families. Jones was held liable for damages due to his default and that of his companies. Hearings on damages were also scheduled.
Twenty first-graders were killed and six teachers were injured in the Newtown school shooting of 2012. Jones stated since that he believes the massacre wasn’t a hoax.
Families of some of the school shooting victims sued Jones, Infowars and others in courts in Texas and Connecticut over the hoax conspiracy, saying they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers.