A federal bankruptcy judge on Monday cleared the way for a defamation lawsuit in Connecticut to proceed against Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
The case was filed by relatives of some of the victims of the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Jones perjured that the nation’s deadliest school shooting – killing 20 students and six teachers – was a hoax.
Jones’ attorney sought to move the case to a federal bankruptcy court, instead of continuing the case in Connecticut state court. That move brought the first jury selection date to an abrupt halt earlier this month.
However, Monday’s ruling by Judge Julie Manning essentially allowed the plaintiffs to continue the defamation lawsuit against Jones only in an individual capacity, without Free Speech Systems, a company owned by Mr. Jones and was the defendant in the Connecticut case.
“The plaintiffs’ right to continue in the Superior Court of Connecticut shall not be disturbed,” Manning wrote in the decision, adding that the plaintiffs’ damages claims are now ready for adjudication. judge.
A message was left seeking comment with Jones’ attorney, Norm Pattis.
Chris Mattei, an attorney for the plaintiffs, praised the judge’s bankruptcy decision. “We are grateful that the bankruptcy court saw Alex Jones’ brazen attempt to prevent the jury from being empowered and hold him accountable. We look forward to a trial,” he said in a written statement.
Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy in Texas about a week before Jones’ attorney sought to transfer the filings in Connecticut.
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A Texas jury this month ordered Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the parents of one of the children killed at Sandy Hook, in addition to another $4.1 million. which he paid for the suffering he had gone through by claiming for years that the shooting was a hoax.
Jones’ attorneys plan to appeal and try to reduce the amount. Meanwhile, besides the Connecticut case, a punitive damages trial in Texas has been filed by the parents of another child killed at Sandy Hook.
Prior to the Texas trial, Jones was found liable in a separate defamation lawsuit in Texas and another in Connecticut by relatives of several Sandy Hook victims.
A Connecticut jury will decide what, if any, damages to Jones in that case, although state law may also limit the amount he will have to pay.
The remaining two trials are expected to begin next month, after juries are selected. Jury selection in the Connecticut case could resume this week, the attorneys said.
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