Alex Jones Slapped With $49M pain Award, pay carve, And Possible Sanctions

Alex Jones Slapped With $49M pain Award, pay carve, And Possible Sanctions

Alex Jones Slapped With $49M Damage Award, Pay Cut, And Possible Sanctions

(Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
The first Sandy Hook defamation trial against Alex Jones ended Friday when the jury awarded $45.2 million in punitive damages to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis. Two days prior, the jury awarded the the plaintiffs $4.1 million in compensatory damages, bringing the total to more than $49 million for the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who was murdered in the 2012 school shooting,
But thanks to Texas’s draconian damage cap, the plaintiffs are unlikely to ever see most of that money, despite suffering for almost a decade after Jones and his fellow Infowars shit-stirrers questioned whether the killings really occurred and described the surviving families as “crisis actors” participating in a “hoax” to gin up support for gun control. As Judge Maya Guerra Gamble said on Friday, “we do have laws in Texas where we claim to trust our juries, and then we don’t trust our juries,” adding that “the judgment will properly reflect the laws of the state of Texas in that regard.”
The parties agree that the award is going to get a haircut, but, as footage from KXAN in Texas shows, how close it’s going to get cropped is a matter of dispute.
Our crew outside the courthouse spoke with Jones’ defense:
“We think the verdict was too high. As for punitive damages, Texas law caps out at $750,000 per plaintiff. So this verdict today amounts to $1.5 million in punitive.” pic.twitter.com/2ybj1gTHGw
– Avery Travis (@averytravistv) August 5, 2022

Bankston interpreted the statute as imposing a “practical cap” in the neighborhood of $4.5 million, although he referred to the law as “super suspect” on due process grounds because Jones’s culpability was already predetermined after his egregious failure to comply with discovery earned him a default judgment. But the attorney seemed confident that Jones would blink and agree a “resolution” to avoid the risk of a bankruptcy judge forcing him to pay the entire judgment, since Jones put his company Free Speech Systems in Chapter 11 during the trial. This prediction makes complete sense if you work from the premise that Jones is a rational actor. (AHEM.)
Defense attorney Andino Reynal interpreted the statute as imposing a cap of $1.5 million punitive damages in this case, a negligible award which would not affect his ability to do business.
“Alex Jones will be on the air today. He’ll be on the air tomorrow. He’ll be on the air next week,” he told reporters. “He’s going to keep doing his job holding the power structure accountable.”
And the statute itself would appear to point to an even lower number, as former AUSA and current Rottenberg Lipman Rich PC partner Mitchell Epner points out.
The state limits so called “exemplary damages” to twice the amount awarded for economic damages, plus $750,000. It also prohibits the parties from telling the jury about the cap, forcing them to toil away to reach an unanimous verdict when the outcome is all but pre-ordained by statute. Here, Heslin and Lewis were each awarded $2 million for emotional distress, with Heslin getting an additional $110,000 for damage to his reputation. So the $4 million is excluded from the punitive calculations, leaving only the $110,000 in “economic” damages to form the basis of the “exemplary” award, which tops out at $970,000.
So … _()_/
Meanwhile in bankruptcy court, CNN reports that Judge Christopher Lopez cut Jones’s salary by more than half, blocked him from using the company AmEx to pay his housekeeping expenses, and promised to take a look at the $60 million in promissory notes Jones executed in favor of a company owned by himself and his parents, effectively bankrupting his Infowars’s parent company Free Speech Systems, while making sure that the Jones family is first in line of creditors to be paid.
And in Connecticut, where the bankruptcy filing halted the upcoming September trial in the defamation case brought by several Sandy Hook plaintiffs, Judge Barbara Bellis demanded to see both Reynal and Jones’s longtime attorney Norm Pattis in her courtroom to explain why they shouldn’t be sanctioned for “the purported release of medical records of the plaintiffs, in violation of state and federal statute and this court’s protective order, to unauthorized individuals.”
During the most jaw-dropping moment of the Heslin-Lewis trial, Bankston informed Jones on the witness stand that his attorneys had “messed up” and put the entire contents of his iPhone in a shared Dropbox folder, including every text he’d sent over the prior two years. As Law & Crime’s Aaron Keller reports, there are several pending protective orders over discovery material in this case, and the Connecticut court has repeatedly warned that violating them might result in sanctions. There are also pending sanctions motions against Jones and Reynal in Texas, where Jones repeatedly lied on the stand at the apparent solicitation of his lawyer. So, good luck, fellas!
Shoulda known the timeline would get weird when they started turning the freakin’ frogs gay
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.
(Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
The first Sandy Hook defamation trial against Alex Jones ended Friday when the jury awarded $45.2 million in punitive damages to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis. Two days prior, the jury awarded the the plaintiffs $4.1 million in compensatory damages, bringing the total to more than $49 million for the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who was murdered in the 2012 school shooting,
But thanks to Texas’s draconian damage cap, the plaintiffs are unlikely to ever see most of that money, despite suffering for almost a decade after Jones and his fellow Infowars shit-stirrers questioned whether the killings really occurred and described the surviving families as “crisis actors” participating in a “hoax” to gin up support for gun control. As Judge Maya Guerra Gamble said on Friday, “we do have laws in Texas where we claim to trust our juries, and then we don’t trust our juries,” adding that “the judgment will properly reflect the laws of the state of Texas in that regard.”
The parties agree that the award is going to get a haircut, but, as footage from KXAN in Texas shows, how close it’s going to get cropped is a matter of dispute.
Our crew outside the courthouse spoke with Jones’ defense:
“We think the verdict was too high. As for punitive damages, Texas law caps out at $750,000 per plaintiff. So this verdict today amounts to $1.5 million in punitive.” pic.twitter.com/2ybj1gTHGw
– Avery Travis (@averytravistv) August 5, 2022

Bankston interpreted the statute as imposing a “practical cap” in the neighborhood of $4.5 million, although he referred to the law as “super suspect” on due process grounds because Jones’s culpability was already predetermined after his egregious failure to comply with discovery earned him a default judgment. But the attorney seemed confident that Jones would blink and agree a “resolution” to avoid the risk of a bankruptcy judge forcing him to pay the entire judgment, since Jones put his company Free Speech Systems in Chapter 11 during the trial. This prediction makes complete sense if you work from the premise that Jones is a rational actor. (AHEM.)
Defense attorney Andino Reynal interpreted the statute as imposing a cap of $1.5 million punitive damages in this case, a negligible award which would not affect his ability to do business.
“Alex Jones will be on the air today. He’ll be on the air tomorrow. He’ll be on the air next week,” he told reporters. “He’s going to keep doing his job holding the power structure accountable.”
And the statute itself would appear to point to an even lower number, as former AUSA and current Rottenberg Lipman Rich PC partner Mitchell Epner points out.
The state limits so called “exemplary damages” to twice the amount awarded for economic damages, plus $750,000. It also prohibits the parties from telling the jury about the cap, forcing them to toil away to reach an unanimous verdict when the outcome is all but pre-ordained by statute. Here, Heslin and Lewis were each awarded $2 million for emotional distress, with Heslin getting an additional $110,000 for damage to his reputation. So the $4 million is excluded from the punitive calculations, leaving only the $110,000 in “economic” damages to form the basis of the “exemplary” award, which tops out at $970,000.
So … _()_/
Meanwhile in bankruptcy court, CNN reports that Judge Christopher Lopez cut Jones’s salary by more than half, blocked him from using the company AmEx to pay his housekeeping expenses, and promised to take a look at the $60 million in promissory notes Jones executed in favor of a company owned by himself and his parents, effectively bankrupting his Infowars’s parent company Free Speech Systems, while making sure that the Jones family is first in line of creditors to be paid.
And in Connecticut, where the bankruptcy filing halted the upcoming September trial in the defamation case brought by several Sandy Hook plaintiffs, Judge Barbara Bellis demanded to see both Reynal and Jones’s longtime attorney Norm Pattis in her courtroom to explain why they shouldn’t be sanctioned for “the purported release of medical records of the plaintiffs, in violation of state and federal statute and this court’s protective order, to unauthorized individuals.”
During the most jaw-dropping moment of the Heslin-Lewis trial, Bankston informed Jones on the witness stand that his attorneys had “messed up” and put the entire contents of his iPhone in a shared Dropbox folder, including every text he’d sent over the prior two years. As Law & Crime’s Aaron Keller reports, there are several pending protective orders over discovery material in this case, and the Connecticut court has repeatedly warned that violating them might result in sanctions. There are also pending sanctions motions against Jones and Reynal in Texas, where Jones repeatedly lied on the stand at the apparent solicitation of his lawyer. So, good luck, fellas!
Shoulda known the timeline would get weird when they started turning the freakin’ frogs gay
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.

Source:https://abovethelaw.com/2022/08/alex-jones-slapped-with-49m-damage-award-pay-cut-and-possible-sanctions/

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