Punishment needed for Alex Jones’ Sandy Hook claim

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) β€” An attorney for the Sandy Hook family said Monday to dissuade Alex Jones and other conspiracy theorists from continuing to tell their followers that the 2012 Newtown mass shooting was a hoax. , said substantial punitive damages must be imposed. For about $1 billion he was already ordered to pay to the victims’ relatives.

Attorney Christopher Mattei made comments on television before a Connecticut judge on the amount of punitive damages the Infowars host and his company, Free Speech Systems, owed to victims’ families. In a hypothetical calculation, the family’s attorneys said punitive damages could total $2.75 trillion, but did not seek a specific amount. Hmm.

Judge Barbara Bellis said she would make a ruling at a later date.

Jones’ attorney Norm Pattis argued that punitive damages should be kept to a minimum. $965 million jury verdict Compensatory damages are very large, “unique” and functionally equivalent to punitive damages. Mattei objected.

“Here, in our view, nominal punitive damages are sufficient under the law if the conduct reaches the level of truly reprehensible, malicious, truly just plain malicious conduct. “There is no circumstance in which any of us would be in a position to be,” Mattei told the judge. I don’t think you can.”

Austin, Texas-based Jones continued to denounce the trial as unfair and an attack on free speech. He also said he can’t pay the verdict because he doesn’t have $2 million to his name.

Pattis on Monday questioned how jurors arrived at the figure of $965 million. He said there was no evidence in either the Jones or Free Speech System net worth trial.

β€œThe jury delivered an extraordinary verdict,” Pattis said. It is incomparable.”

Twenty first graders and six educators died. Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Newtown. Eight victims’ relatives and her FBI agents who dealt with the school sued Jones and the Free Speech System. responsible Last year, he was accused of defaming, causing emotional distress, and violating Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act.

All 15 plaintiffs gave emotional testimony During the month-long trial, he described years of being threatened and harassed by people who believed there was no shooting.

Strangers showed up at some of their homes and confronted them in public. People threw abusive comments at them on social media and in emails. Others say they have received death or rape threats.

The jury’s verdict was intended to indemnify plaintiffs for past, present, and future emotional distress, defamation, and violations of the Unfair Trade Practices Act. The jury also said punitive damages were justified to punish Jones for his actions.Bellis will determine the amount of these damages.

Punitive damages are generally limited to attorneys’ fees for emotional distress and defamation, but under the Unfair Trade Practices Act, which prohibits deceptive business practices and unfair competition, such damages are capped at There is none.

Attorneys for the Sandy Hook family are to receive one-third of the damages received under the family agreement. Therefore, Jones and Free Speech Systems could be ordered to pay plaintiffs about $1 billion, plus he could be awarded $322 million in punitive damages.

And Jones could be ordered to pay even more as punitive damages under the Unfair Trade Practices Act. says. Mattei said Jones should be punished under the law for his continued criticism of the trial, judges and plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Pattis countered that no evidence was presented at trial that Jones sent someone to threaten or harass the family. He said that damages should not be awarded under the Unfair Trade Practices Act.

“The way I see it, if a billion people don’t do it, a trillion people won’t do it. $3 trillion won’t do it,” Pattis said.

In Texas, the parents of two other children killed in the shooting have filed a similar lawsuit against Jones.A jury in one case ordered Jones to pay About $50 million in damages, and a second Texas trial is expected to begin around the end of the year. The $50 million verdict is expected to be reduced by the Texas damages cap.