The victims’ families sued Jones in both Texas and Connecticut courts over his past claims that the devastating 2012 mass shooting that took the lives of 20 children was staged.
The lawsuit from 2018 quotes the InfoWars founder as previously saying, “We’ve clearly got people where it’s actors playing different parts of different people.”
A hearing will take place at a later date to decide how much Jones will pay to parents - but given the US trend for eye-watering defamation settlements, the amount could be enough to cause financial ruin for Jones.
Jones added at the time: “I’ve looked at it and undoubtedly there’s a cover-up, there’s actors, they’re manipulating, they’ve been caught lying and they were pre-planning before it and rolled out with it.”
Families say Jones' false claims led to harassment and them getting death threats. He has since acknowledged that the shooting was, in fact, real.
Earlier today, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled against Jones after he failed to comply with the discovery process throughout the defamation case. The judge cited Jones’ "willful noncompliance" as the primary reason behind the ruling.
She also noted that the defendants had not turned over the financial and analytics data repeatedly requested by the Sandy Hook family Elementary School plaintiffs.
“What the judge said was Mr. Jones and the other corporate defendants he controls have engaged in such a long course of willful misconduct of withholding evidence that the court was left with no choice but to default,” said Chris Mattei, an attorney with Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, which represents the families.
Of the legal victory, Mattei said that while the families are “grateful” they are 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 the attorney.
He concluded: “While today's ruling is a legal victory, the battle to shed light on how deeply Mr. Jones has harmed these families continues."