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Alex Jones loses bid to slash $50 million Sandy Hook defamation verdict By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Alex Jones steps exterior of the Travis County Courthouse, to do interviews with media after he was questioned underneath oath about textual content messages and emails by lawyer Mark Bankston, in Austin, Texas, U.S. August 3, 2022. Briana Sanchez/Pool by way of REU

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By Jack Queen

DALLAS (Reuters) – Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Tuesday failed in his bid to slash an almost $50 million defamation verdict in opposition to him over his false claims that the 2012 Sandy Hook mass taking pictures was a hoax.

Choose Maya Guerra Gamble rejected arguments by a lawyer for Jones and the guardian firm of his Infowars web site {that a} Texas state legislation capping sure kinds of damages meant that the August verdict in favor of two mother and father of a kid slain at Sandy Hook ought to be lower by greater than $40 million.

Jones claimed for years that the 2012 killing of 20 college students and 6 workers members at Sandy Hook Elementary Faculty in Newtown, Connecticut, was staged with actors as a part of a authorities plot to grab People’ weapons. He has since acknowledged the taking pictures occurred.

Plaintiffs Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis testified that they suffered years of harassment and abuse by the hands of Jones’ followers, who falsely believed they lied about their six-year-old son Jesse Lewis’ demise.

Texas legislation caps non-economic punitive damages, which made up $45.2 million of the whole verdict. Heslin and Lewis’ attorneys efficiently argued that the cap doesn’t apply as a result of a carveout for intentional abuse of a disabled individual, saying trauma over their son’s demise counted as a incapacity.

“Our shoppers are happy that the jury’s verdict was upheld in totality and my remaining shoppers sit up for closing out this vile chapter of American historical past by persevering with to carry Mr Jones accountable,” Heslin and Lewis’ legal professional, Mark Bankston, advised Reuters after the listening to in Travis County District Court docket in Austin, Texas.

Jones’ legal professional, Andino Reynal, stated the ruling contradicts “many years of precedent” and that he’ll enchantment.

In October, a Connecticut jury in a separate case introduced by relations of greater than a dozen Sandy Hook victims ordered Jones and his firm, Free Speech Methods LLC, to pay practically $1 billion in damages.

The choose in that case tacked on a further $473 million in punitive damages for Jones’ “merciless” conduct earlier this month.

Proof in each circumstances confirmed that bogus Sandy Hook claims turbocharged site visitors to Infowars and drove gross sales of its merchandise, together with dietary supplements and doomsday provides.

Legal professionals for the plaintiffs argued that Jones and his firm knew that victims’ households have been being harassed however continued to unfold falsehoods concerning the taking pictures as a result of it was worthwhile.

Free Speech Methods declared chapter in Texas in July. The Sandy Hook households have intervened within the case, alleging Jones is utilizing the proceedings to protect his belongings and keep away from paying.

The households have additionally sued Jones in Texas courtroom in search of to unwind transactions that they stated allowed Jones to loot thousands and thousands of {dollars} from his firm and stash them in shell entities forward of potential judgments in opposition to him.

One other defamation lawsuit in opposition to Jones introduced by Sandy Hook mother and father is ready to go to trial in Austin, Texas, in March.

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