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Jones Loses Sandy Hook Cases by Default

Conspiracy theorist repeatedly failed to comply with orders to provide documents
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2021 10:55 AM CDT
Alex Jones Loses 2 Sandy Hook Lawsuits
In this Sept. 5, 2018 photo, Alex Jones speaks outside of the Dirksen building on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

(Newser) – Alex Jones has lost two more court cases and is going to have to pay more damages to the families of children killed in a mass shooting he claimed was a hoax. A Texas judge has issued two rare default judgments against Jones and his conspiracy theorist media outlet, Infowars, for repeatedly failing to comply with court orders to produce documents, the Huffington Post reports. In decisions made public Thursday, Judge Maya Guerra Gamble ruled that Jones had lost the lawsuits brought by parents of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting. A jury will now convene to determine how much Jones and Infowars owe the plaintiffs, who sued for defamation and infliction of emotional distress.

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Gamble wrote that the failure to comply was "greatly aggravated" by the "discovery abuse throughout similar cases pending before this Court," per CNN. "The Court finds that Defendants' discovery conduct in this case is the result of flagrant bad faith and callous disregard for the responsibilities of discovery under the rules." A month ago, Mark Bankston, a lawyer for Sandy Hook parents, told the judge that Jones had failed to provide "basic information" first requested in 2018, including video and transcripts of his on-air discussions of the mass shooting, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

The 2012 mass shooting killed 26 people, including 20 children, all 6 or 7 years old. Jones repeatedly claimed that the shooting was fake and grieving parents were "crisis actors," the Guardian reports. The parents said they suffered harassment, including death threats, as a result of the conspiracy theorist's claims. "Jones was given ample opportunity to take these lawsuits seriously and obey the rule of law," Bankston says. "He chose not to do so, and now he will face the consequences for that decision." (In a 2019 deposition, Jones blamed his false claims on a "form of psychosis.")

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