Infowars host Alex Jones has lost two of several lawsuits filed against him by relatives of Sandy Hook victims after he routinely failed to comply with requests to produce documents related to his involvement in spreading lies about the deadly shooting.
Judge Maya Guerra Gamble on Monday issued her ruling for default judgments against Jones in two different cases, which means he and the conspiracy-theory-spewing outlet Infowars have been found liable for all damages and a jury will now be convened to determine how much he will owe the plaintiffs. The new rulings became public Thursday.
In the filings, Gamble eviscerated Jones and reasoned that default judgments should be ordered because “an escalating series of judicial admonishments, monetary penalties, and non-dispositive sanctions have all been ineffective at deterring the abuse,” caused by Jones’ unwillingness to turn over documents related to the cases, the Texas judge ruled.
The ruling — which is often referred to in Texas as a “death penalty sanction” for a party unwilling to comply with court orders — is a rarity in the legal world. Jones, who is now on his seventh lawyer in these cases, had years to provide documentation requested by the court, including internal company emails.
HuffPost was the first to report the start of Jones’ Sandy Hook legal woes in 2018 when parents Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa filed a defamation lawsuit related to Jones’ continued lies that the 2012 school shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead was a “false flag” hoax filled with “crisis actors.”
Pozner and De La Rosa’s 6-year-old son, Noah, was killed in the shooting. In the years since, the parents have dealt with continued harassment from those who followed Jones’ lead and claimed the shooting was faked.
They’re not the only ones. In total, nine families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook shooting have leveled lawsuits against Jones and Infowars for the damage he and his outlet caused. Since then, Jones has lost multiple legal battles in his many lawsuits and was ordered to pay nearly $150,000 in legal fees in 2020 for failing to provide discovery documents for the plaintiffs.
It was Jones’ continued refusal to hand over discovery documents that led to Monday’s rulings against him in a lawsuit brought on by Pozner and a separate lawsuit by parent Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse, was also killed in the shooting. Pozner, De La Rosa, and Lewis are being represented by Texas law firm Farrar & Ball, who told HuffPost that they are “not surprised by the Court’s decision.”
Jones’ most recent lawyer, Brad Reeves, told the Austin-American Statesman earlier this month that a default judgment against Jones would be a “hugely excessive” response to his discovery failures. Judge Gamble felt otherwise:
“Furthermore, in considering whether lesser remedies would be effective, this Court has also considered Defendants’ general bad faith approach to litigation, Mr. Jones’ public threats, and Mr. Jones’ professed belief that these proceedings are ‘show trials’,” the court rulings read.
Lawyer Bill Ogden with Farrar & Ball told HuffPost that Gamble’s default judgment ruling is “a bit of a myth” in the legal world.
“We learn about death penalty sanctions in law school as more of a theory, and it’s almost unheard of to have them handed down in a case like this,” Ogden said in an emailed statement. “However, the Sandy Hook cases are unique. It is extremely rare that a party (Alex Jones and Infowars) is ordered by the Court to comply with discovery, is sanctioned for failing to obey with the Court’s multiple Order(s), and then continues to blatantly disregard the Court’s authority by continuously refusing to comply.”
While Jones has now claimed he no longer believes the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, the damage had already been done. In 2017, Florida woman Lucy Richards was sentenced to five months in prison for sending threats to Pozner.
“You gonna die,” Richards told Pozner in one recorded voicemail message. “Death is coming to you real soon.”
As part of her sentence, Richards was ordered not to access Infowars.
Jones’ cataclysmic court losses are unsurprising to those who have followed his cases. In a 2019 deposition, Jones was unable to recall basic facts about the school shooting, including the date that it happened.
“I talk four hours a day, and I can’t remember what I talked about sometimes a week ago,” Jones said in the deposition.
Reached by phone Thursday, Jones’ lawyer, Reeves, told HuffPost he had no comment regarding the decision.
“I haven’t really analyzed [the rulings], so I don’t know exactly what is going to happen,” Reeves said.