Judge Rules Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Liable in 10 Defamation Suits; A Win for Sandy Hook Families

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The case will now proceed to a hearing and damages as to the defendants, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis said. A status conference is scheduled for Wednesday, a report said.

InfoWars founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was found liable by default in 10 defamation suits against him on Monday, awarding Sandy Hook families a long-anticipated legal victory, according to reports.

Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled against Jones and entities owned by him for their failure to “fully and fairly comply with their discovery obligations,” CNN reported..

During the virtual hearing, the judge called it "willful noncompliance,” specifically noting that the defendants had not turned over financial and analytics data requested multiple times by the Sandy Hook family plaintiffs, the news outlet reported. 

Attorney Chris Mattei, whose firm, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, represents families of the Sandy Hook victims, said in a statement:  "Mr. Jones was given every opportunity to comply but, when he chose instead to withhold evidence for more than two years, the Court was left with no choice but to rule as it did today," Mattei said: Reuters reported

"While the families are grateful for the court's ruling, they remain focused on uncovering the truth," he said.

Six -year-old Noah Pozner was the youngest victim and one of the 20 elementary school-aged children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre. The life of his father, Lenny Pozner, would forever be changed by the loss of his son and the conspiracy theorists whom harassed him for years.

Alex Jones, a Texas-based radio host, and ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump was one of the people who fueled the theories, telling his audience of more than 2 million that the massacre was staged and that the bereaved families were paid actors, further exposing the families to harassment, death threats and personal attacks on social media, Inside Edition previously reported.

James Fetzer, a former professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth and another conspiracy theorist, also circulated damaging and destructive misinformation. His book, “No One Died at Sandy Hook,” claimed the Sandy Hook shooting never took place. In his book, edited by Michael Palecek, Fetzer claimed the death of Noah was a hoax and that copies of his death certificate were fabricated. Fetzer wrote that the entire tragedy was an event staged by the federal government as part of an Obama administration's effort to enact tighten gun restrictions, Inside Edition previously reported. 

In June 2019, Pozner won a defamation case against Fetzer, who unsuccessfully argued that it was an attack on his First Amendment rights. A Wisconsin jury determined in October 2019 that Fetzer must pay Pozner $450,000 for making defamatory statements, the Washington Post reported. Fetzer at that time called the damage amount “absurd,” and said he would appeal. 

“I have a judgment and I have a permanent injunction against James Fetzer. He was in contempt of court more than once,” said Pozner, who said the final judgment is over $1.1 million now for that case.

Pozner told Inside Edition Digital on Tuesday that Fetzer has filed an appeal.

In 2018, Pozner took Jones to court, as did other Sandy Hook parents. According to Frontline, Jones said under oath that he suffered from a “form of psychosis,” that made him think everything was staged. He said he would admit, “I’ve had a chance to believe that children died and it’s a tragedy…” However, Jones is appealing the case and Pozner says this shows that Jones was not sincere. 

“I don’t believe what he is saying," Pozner said. "There is a sadistic part to dragging this out, knowing people in the tragedy are suffering. He knows this and it's just him continuing to just throw nonsense out. He got fined in one of the courts in Texas for wasting the court's time."   

"How is that not like putting salt on a wound," he continued. "That is his [Jones's] big F-U! That is how much Alex Jones really cares about what he said and what he thinks now and what he needs to say now and how he feels about it now. I think his actions really speak to who the man is.” 

Pozner, who is being represented by attorney Mark Bankston in the Texas case, told Inside Edition Digital that “Jones is just dragging out this whole process he could have put the breaks on this a long time ago.”

With the case heading into litigation, Pozner spoke briefly about Monday’s win.

“The toll of being the canary in the coal mine, warning people that facts can be negated if hoaxers like Jones, and James Fetzer can just get enough people to repeat them, has been heavy,” he said. 

“My family still lives in hiding, we are still the focus of harassment, stalking, doxing, and other online abuse. But I knew that unless hoaxers were exposed as what they are, modern-day snake oil salesmen, generating millions of dollars by praying on those of us who are suffering in the wake of an unspeakable tragedy, my son’s very existence, the existence of all of the victims would be debated and minimalized.”

Pozner continued,  “I knew that I had to stand up to Jones and his ilk, and I am glad that other families followed my lead, ultimately filing their own cases against Jones. Hoping that some other tragedy occurred to divert hoaxer attention, while understandable, it isn’t an honorable way to live. That is why I founded the HONR Network.” 

He told Inside Edition Digital that the original mission of the HONR Network was to bring awareness to hoaxer and conspiracy theorist activity and to criminally and/or civilly prosecute those who purposefully and publicly defame, harass, and emotionally abuse victims of high-profile tragedies.

“I have followed through with that mission and while the organization has expanded to provide assistance to anyone who is being abused online, I am most proud of the accomplishments that have been made in bringing these online monsters to justice.”

The case will now proceed to a hearing and damages as to the defendants, Bellis said. A status conference is scheduled for Wednesday, The New York Times reported.

Norm Pattis, who represents Infowars, said: "We remain confident that, in the end, the Sandy Hook families cannot prove either liability or damages. We think their lawyers know this; hence, the desperate effort to obtain a default," Reuters reported

Pattis added, "Thank God for appellate courts."

Inside Edition Digital reached out to Norm Pattis who did not respond to our request for comment. 

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