WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) – The verdict announced Wednesday in a defamation case against Alex Jones awarded the largest amount in this type of lawsuit in the state of Connecticut, according to a law professor at Quinnipiac University.
The jury was tasked with deciding how much money should be awarded for defamation and emotional distress damages. Robbie Parker, whose 6-year-old daughter was killed in the 2012 shooting, was awarded the largest amount, at $120 million.
“It just goes to show what the jury thought of as far as the evidence that was presented about defamation and the emotional distress that these families have gone through,” said Anthony Minchella, an adjunct law professor at Quinnipiac University.
Minchella said there is still a long legal process before any money is paid. Alex Jones’ lawyer said they will appeal, and the lawsuit could go to higher courts in Connecticut. The judge could also add punitive damages.
Once everything is settled, attorneys have to track down Jones’ assets that are out of state to ensure the families are paid.
“Once it’s a final, final judgment, it has to be registered in other states and then the plaintiffs have to follow those state’s laws in order to execute on assets to get paid,” Minchella said. “And so, it’s not magical. A defendant rarely just signs a check paying the judgment.”
So, can Alex Jones actually pay all of this money?
Jones was also ordered to pay $45.2 million in a separate defamation case in Texas during the summer.
His company, InfoWars, has filed for bankruptcy.
Minchella said the trial revealed that Jones’ business is generating enough money that he could pay — even if it takes the rest of his life.
The attorney for the families asked for half a billion dollars in damages, but Christopher Mattei said it was more important that Jones was held accountable for his actions and the world knew the damage his lies created.
“The spread of this lie reached upwards of a billion people we know,” Mattei said while addressing media outside the courthouse. “That was his doing, that’s what he wanted. So, the jury’s verdict should reflect that type of damage.”