A Texas jury found that Alex Jones must pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the parents of a 6-year-old killed in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis had sought $150 million, while the Infowars founder claimed that even $2 million would “sink” him and his company.
The order comes just one day after jurors had awarded Heslin and Lewis $4.1 million in compensatory damages. The ruling marked the first time that Jones had been held financially liable for defamation pertaining to the Sandy Hook massacre.
“I ask that with your verdict, you not only take Alex Jones’ platform that he talks about away. I ask that you make sure that he can’t rebuild the platform. That’s what matters,” said Wesley Ball, an attorney for the parents. “That is punishment. That is deterrence.”
Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Infowars, reportedly filed for bankruptcy two weeks ago.
After the verdict, an attorney for Jones told the judge that he intends to appeal the decision.
“We think the verdict was too high. … Alex Jones will be on the air today, he’ll be on the air tomorrow, he’ll be on the air next week. He’s going to keep doing his job holding the power structure accountable,” said attorney Andino Reynal.