A Connecticut judge on Monday ruled that InfoWars founder Alex Jones is liable by default in all of the defamation cases brought by families of eight people killed in Sandy Hook, The New York Times reports.
The judge ruled on Monday that because Jones refused to turn over all of the documents ordered by multiple courts, he is liable by default.
"All the defendants have failed to fully and fairly comply with their discovery obligations,” said Judge Barbara Bellis, referring to Jones and his media properties.
The ruling comes after three previous rulings in Texas similarly found Jones liable in defamation cases brought by families of 10 shooting victims.
Juries will ultimately decide how much Jones will have to pay the families. Trials in Texas and Connecticut are scheduled for next year.
Families say Jones hiding evidence:
An attorney for the families accused Jones of hiding evidence in the case.
"While the families are grateful for the Court's ruling, they remain focused on uncovering the truth. As the Court noted, Alex Jones and his companies have deliberately concealed evidence of the relationship between what they publish and how they make money," said attorney Chris Mattei.
"Mr. Jones was given every opportunity to comply but, when he chose instead to withhold evidence for more than two years, the Court was left with no choice but to rule as it did today,” he added. “While today's ruling is a legal victory, the battle to shed light on how deeply Mr. Jones has harmed these families continues."
Conspiracy theories on trial:
The lawsuits stem from conspiracy theories pushed by Jones for years that the children killed in Sandy Hook were “actors.”
Jones admitted he was wrong and that the shooting was real in court but argued that his speech was protected by the First Amendment.
The families of the slain children argued that Jones intentionally capitalized on the shooting to grow his audience and increase profits.
The families sought detailed financial information and analytics data to provide evidence of their argument.
“This wasn’t easy to get to this point,” Mattei said. “We requested this information back in 2019, we’ve had to fight for it we’ve had to over come deceit; false statements to us and the court. It was only through our clients’ determination that we were ultimately able to prove to the court that this information was withheld.”