Home Defamation Lawsuits Alex Jones Sandy Hook defamation damages trial in Connecticut: 5 things to know

Alex Jones Sandy Hook defamation damages trial in Connecticut: 5 things to know

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Alex Jones goes on trial in Waterbury Tuesday where a jury of six will decide how much he has to pay an FBI agent and eight Sandy Hook families he defamed when he called the massacre of 26 first-graders and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School “staged,” “synthetic,” “manufactured,” “a giant hoax,” and “completely fake with actors.” This is the second trial in as many months where a jury takes up the task of awarding defamation damages. In August, a Texas jury awarded $49 million to the parents of a slain Sandy Hook boy who Jones defamed.

1. This trial caps a four-year battle

The Connecticut case has been in the national news since an FBI agent and eight Sandy Hook families filed a defamation lawsuit against Alex Jones in 2018, from social media companies such as Facebook and YouTube dropping Jones’ channels for spreading misinformation and hate speech to repeated warnings from state Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis for Jones to comply with pretrial procedures, such as sharing business documents with the families. Bellis first punished Jones by taking away his right to argue what he considered a key line of defense and then defaulted Jones for crossing the line one time too many. Jones’ appeals to the higher courts failed. Even after Jones was found liable for default, his trouble with the court continued, including Jones failing to appear for court-ordered depositions in March. Jones wound up flying to New Haven to give his sworn testimony after Bellis slapped him with an escalating fine starting at $25,000 per day.

2. New Haven defense attorney Norm Pattis in the spotlight

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