Legal experts react to Sandy Hook jury awarding families $1B in Alex Jones defamation trial

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Calling Alex Jones his “own worst enemy,” legal experts said Wednesday’s stunning $1 billion decision by a Connecticut jury was a “big surprise.”

The jury determined that the conspiracy theorist should pay $965 million to the 15 plaintiffs as compensatory damages for slander and emotional distress.

The lawsuit accused Jones and his talk show’s parent company, Free Speech Systems, of using the 2012 mass killing to boost his audience. Jones’ audience spiked whenever he discussed the Sandy Hook massacre on his show, and he also made money off products sold.

“This is a resounding message by jurors that Alex Jones’ defamatory comments, which exploited people who have already suffered from immeasurable loss, simply cannot be tolerated,” Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Joshua Ritter, who is a former Los Angeles County prosecutor, said.

The huge amount stunned some.

“I had expected a verdict somewhere under $100 million or at the highest end in the low hundreds of millions. This is a big surprise,” trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani said.

It is doubtful, though, legal experts told the Daily News, that the plaintiffs will recover the full amount of the nearly $1 billion judgment.

“For one thing, I don’t think Jones has that kind of cash. It will be an exercise in holding him accountable and making him feel some pain. The plaintiffs will accomplish that, it just won’t happen overnight,” Los Angeles trial lawyer Joseph H. Low said.

Jones also has the bankruptcy option, they said.

“It’s very likely that ... the plaintiffs and Jones may reach a settlement on what will actually be paid. This would be good for all parties since it guarantees the plaintiffs will get some money, and Jones can get beyond this verdict and move on with his life,” Los Angeles entertainment attorney Tre Lovell said.

Lovell added that the bombastic “Infowars” host did himself no favors during his chaotic testimony in September.

“Had he appeared penitent, contrite or remorseful, that would certainly have helped him on the damages issues ... Jurors have no patience for arrogance or bravado, and if you give them the opportunity, they will punish you for exercising these qualities as they did here,” he said.

Rahmani hopes this signals the end of the conspiracy theorist’s peddling of lies.

“Hopefully, this puts Alex Jones out of business forever. It’s going to be very hard for him to fundraise $1 billion,” he said.

The legal professionals believe that more lawsuits will follow, as there are “still 50 states where people are ready, willing and able to hold him accountable for the stupid and cruel things he wants to say,” said Low, who also heads a trial skills training facility.

“This man is a freedom of speech serial killer. If he wants to continue saying the repugnant things that he does, hurting people so that he can make money, I think that the juries are going to do what they were designed to do — which is to make it so painful for him that he won’t be able to speak on airways because he’ll never be able to make enough money to pay all the judgments he owes.”