A Texas judge Tuesday ruled Alex Jones must pay more than $45 million in punitive damages for promoting false conspiracy theories surrounding the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, according to multiple reports, far higher than the cap the state usually allows, in yet another legal loss setting the extremist InfoWars radio host on a likely path to financial ruin.
Travis County Judge Maya Guerra Gamble affirmed Jones must pay the $45.2 million in punitive damages ordered by jurors in August, on top of $4.1 million in compensatory damages he’s been ordered to pay parents of a Sandy Hook shooting victim.
In a hearing Tuesday, Gamble questioned the constitutionality of a Texas law which caps punitive damages in cases such as Jones’ to $750,000, according to the New York Times.
Parents of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims filed several defamation lawsuits against Jones after he falsely claimed the shooting was staged. Between courts in Texas and Connecticut, Jones has been ordered to pay well over $1 billion for his claims about the shooting. Jones has laughed off the rulings, saying he’s worth $2 million at most, even though forensic economist Bernard Pettingill Jr. testified at the Texas trial he believes Jones has a net worth of up to $270 billion. A Connecticut judge earlier this month temporarily froze Jones’ assets amid concerns he was “looting” his estate and hiding money in shell companies run by members of his family to avoid having to hand it over in damages.
Twitter owner Elon Musk has reinstated numerous formerly banned controversial accounts recently, such as former President Donald Trump’s, but he’s repeatedly said Jones will not be allowed back on the platform. “Too bad,” Musk tweeted Friday to a user who asked for Jones to be allowed back.
Alex Jones is the litmus test, @elonmusk. Not just on the issue of freedom of speech, but on the issue of not bending the knee to political and judicial intimidation. If this is a hard "no", your Twitter will never be any more trustworthy than @paraga or @Jack's twitter. https://t.co/l7HxyHB3Ub— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) November 18, 2022