Sandy Hook households push for Alex Jones penalty of as much as $2.75 trillion: ‘Highest possible punitive damages’

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Sandy Hook households mentioned a Connecticut choose ought to impose “the highest possible punitive damages” for Alex Jones, suggesting by one calculation that may very well be as excessive as $2.75 trillion.

The households mentioned that further damages are warranted on high of a virtually $1 billion jury award as a result of Jones broke a state legislation barring the sale of merchandise utilizing false statements. They reached the trillion-dollar sum by multiplying the state legislation’s up-to $5,000 per-violation high-quality by the 550 million social media exposures Jones’s viewers acquired on his Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts within the three years following a faculty taking pictures that claimed the lives of 20 first graders and 6 educators in 2012. It was the biggest of a number of harm calculation choices the households provided the choose for assessing additional penalties.

“The only appropriate punitive damages award in this case is the largest award within the court’s power,” the households’ legal professionals mentioned within the submitting. “The defendants have acted willfully, maliciously, and evilly, in full knowledge of the harm they are causing people who had no means to fight back, except to bring this case.”

Jones known as relations “crisis actors” for years and mentioned their family members weren’t murdered throughout an elementary college bloodbath. He denied his statements have been defamatory. 

“Alex Jones perpetrates this attack for one reason: greed,” the households’ legal professionals mentioned within the submitting Friday. “Alex Jones won’t ever deal with them like actual individuals, as a result of they’re too helpful to him as targets. “

State Judge Barbara Bellis will decide the ultimate quantity Jones should pay. She has beforehand mentioned Jones violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, or CUTPA, by promoting dietary supplements and survival gear throughout reveals that featured his false claims about Sandy Hook.

The Infowars host claims he’s bankrupt and has vowed to not pay the households a dime. On Nov. 12, a Connecticut jury awarded eight households and an FBI agent who responded to the taking pictures $965 million for the harassment they suffered from Infowars’ followers who purchased into Jones’s hoax idea.

The jurors weren’t requested to contemplate CUTPA and have been solely requested to calculate defamation and emotional misery damages after Bellis dominated in a separate continuing that Jones had defamed the households. Jones was discovered liable by default as a result of he repeatedly refused to supply testimony and paperwork detailing how a lot his enterprise earns.

Traditionally, CUTPA has been used to compensate people straight harmed by deceptively marketed merchandise. However, the Connecticut Supreme Court determined in a case Sandy Hooks mother and father introduced towards the maker of the rifle used within the taking pictures that CUTPA damages may very well be awarded to victims not directly harmed by merchandise marketed with false statements.

Jones’s lawyer Norm Pattis mentioned in a separate submitting Friday that CUTPA damages don’t match the information of the case. He mentioned the choose “abdicated” her duty to present Jones a good trial by coming into the default judgment and evidentiary restrictions towards him. 

Pattis additionally claimed the victims’ legal professionals ought to’ve needed to present jurors the quantity of damages every plaintiff was entitled to, reasonably than merely argue damages must be large enough to “stop Jones.” The households’ legal professionals additionally did not tie the particular harassment every sufferer suffered to Jones, Pattis mentioned.

The plaintiffs targeted on “arousing sympathy, directing anger, and anchoring a large number before the jury with the hope that jurors would do what they did in this case — award a fortune,” Pattis mentioned in filings requesting that the decision be put aside and a brand new trial ordered.

Jones had claimed the choose’s restrictions on what he may inform the jurors put him in an “untenable position” that violated his free speech rights. Bellis had forbidden Jones from testifying about his political views, conspiracy theories, gun management or First Amendment points he claims clarify and excuse his false statements about Sandy Hook.

Jones put Infowars’ guardian firm, Free Speech Systems, into creditor safety in Houston federal chapter court docket this yr, shortly earlier than a distinct jury in Texas awarded one Sandy Hook household nearly $50 million in defamation damages. The conspiracy theorist faces a 3rd defamation trial by a remaining Sandy Hook household in Texas later this yr.

During the Connecticut trial, one in all Jones’s staff testified his firms made between $150 million and $1 billion in gross sales following Sandy Hook.

Pattis mentioned he’ll attraction the jury’s award as a result of he believes Bellis’s default judgment and restrictions on Jones’s testimony prevented him from presenting the political views and free-speech arguments the speak present host claims clarify and excuse his false statements.

After a number of hours of combative testimony underneath subpeona, Jones “boycotted” the trial in favor of spouting his conspiracy theories and first-amendment arguments to reporters gathered exterior the courthouse.

The case is Lafferty v Jones, CV-18-6046436, Connecticut Superior Court (Waterbury).

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