(PresidentialHill.com)- Last Thursday a judge ordered Alex Jones and his company to pay an additional $473 million in punitive damages to the families of Sandy Hook victims and an FBI agent for his claim that the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.
Connecticut Judge Barbara Bellis imposed the punitive damages on top of the nearly $1 billion jury award issued last month on the Infowars host and Free Speech Systems.
Jones repeatedly claimed on his program that the mass murder that killed 20 elementary school children and six teachers was staged by “crisis actors” as a pretext for more gun control.
Eight of the victim’s families and the FBI agent testified during the monthlong trial about facing threats and harassment for years at the hands of people who denied the shooting happened, including strangers showing up at their homes and confronting them in public. They were subjected to abusive comments in emails and on social media, and some received death and rape threats.
Six jurors had ordered Jones to pay $965 million in compensatory damages to the 15 plaintiffs for defamation, infliction of emotional distress, and violations of Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act which bans unfair competition and deceptive business practices.
Judge Bellis found Jones and Free Speech Systems liable for damages without a trial last year. After the unusual default ruling, the jurors were only tasked with deciding the amount of compensatory damages and whether punitive damages were warranted.
In Connecticut, punitive damages for defamation and infliction of emotional distress are typically limited to the plaintiff’s legal fees. But there is no cap on punitive damages for violating the Unfair Trade Practices Act.
During a similar trial in Texas in August where Jones was ordered to pay nearly $50 million to the parents of one child killed in Sandy Hook, a forensic economist testified that Jones and Free Speech Systems have a combined net worth of as much as $270 million.