Almost One Beelion Dollars
So, a Connecticut jury awarded $965,000,000.00 to Sandy Hook families suing Alex Jones for defamation.
They did not determine his responsibility, the judge declared a default, because Jones refused to turn over information subpoenaed by the plaintiffs, but they did determine the direct damages.
It should be noted that punitive damages have not yet been assessed, which if my knowledge of Connecticut liability caps is accurate, and I am an engineer, not a lawyer, dammit,* the punitive damages could be 4 times that of the compensatory damages, which comes to more than 4.8 beeeelion dollars!
I hope the judge goes medieval on Mr. Jones with regard to his posting a bond for this judgement:
The damages announced on Wednesday are meant to compensate the victims for reputational damage and emotional distress. A judge will decide on punitive damages next month.
Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles and an expert on the First Amendment, said he could not recall another defamation case with damages of this size.
“It does send a message that juries care about reputation and care about lies — especially when they’re about people who are sympathetic,” said Voklokh. “It’s hard to get more sympathetic” than the Sandy Hook families.
The Connecticut case is one of three defamation suits filed against Jones by relatives of the victims, who have said that they hope to prevent other families from enduring similar abuse.
Jones is a reckless purveyor of conspiracy theories and a prominent supporter of former president Donald Trump, who has returned the praise. “Your reputation is amazing,” Trump told Jones in late 2015 as he ramped up his campaign for the presidency. “I won’t let you down.”
In 2018, YouTube, Facebook, Apple, Spotify and Twitter all removed Jones from their platforms, saying he violated their policies against abusive and harmful content.
Jones refused to share crucial evidence — including financial records and data on traffic to his websites — with the plaintiffs in the Connecticut case in violation of his legal obligations. Judge Barbara Bellis entered a default judgment against him holding him liable for defamation. The jury’s only task, Bellis said as deliberations began, was to determine “the extent of the harm.”
The state of Jones’s finances is murky. In the Texas trial, Bernard Pettingill, a forensic economist hired by the plaintiffs, estimated that Jones and his companies have a net worth of up to $270 million. Pettingill also said Jones withdrew $62 million in 2021.
Honestly, I’d like to see the right wing broadcaster’s flabby white ass thrown in jail for bankruptcy fraud, he is likely actively concealing his assets, but he’s not near the top of my list.
I’d want “respectable capitalists” like late coal mine owner Robert E. “Eat Sh%$ Bob” Murray (It’s a John Oliver things), steel and nickel mine owner Clive “Fatty McF%$#head” Palmer (Australian, and I’ll re-post the take-down by Jordan “friendlyjordies” Shanks-Markovina after the break, it’s epic.), and Perdue Pharma and entire Sackler family to see the inside of a jail cell first.
There are way too many “respectable” people who went to the right schools and wear the right suits who routinely engage in bankruptcy fraud.
I’d also add the Sacklers and Purdue Pharma to my list.
*I love it when I get to go all Dr. McCoy!†
†Am I wearing out the whole “I’m a ……… MccOY,” thing? My wife and kids are getting really sick of this.