Parents of Sandy Hook Victim Seek $150 Million in Damages from Alex Jones

The far-right conspiracy theorist and web show host is being sued after telling millions of listeners that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was "a giant hoax"

Alex Jones is in court.

The Infowars host, 48, is being sued for defamation for $150 million by two parents who lost their son in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, after being found legally responsible in October 2021 for making false statements about the victims.

According to The New York Times, the case is the first to "put a dollar amount on the suffering" Jones caused by spreading misinformation.

Elaborating in court in Austin, Texas Tuesday, attorney Mark Bankston told the jury, "The number of people who believe Sandy Hook was definitely or possibly staged is 75 million — so we believe a fair measure of the level of harm done to Neil and Scarlett is one dollar for every one of those people in emotional damage … and another $75 million for the damage to their reputation," per The News-Times.

Alex Jones
Alex Jones. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bankston represents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who was one of the 20 first graders and six teachers killed at in the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012. It remains today one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

"That is a huge verdict for sure, but it will do justice to the level of harm that was done," Bankston added.

Roses with the faces of the Sandy Hook Elementry students and adults killed are seen on a pole in Newtown, Connecticut
Victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

In an opening statement, Jones' attorney Andino Reynal accused the plaintiffs' lawyer of providing misleading information.

"What we heard was a conspiracy of lies. If you understand the news cycle and how it works, commentators, people on talk shows, they get information, they run with it. Alex Jones was wrong to believe these people. But he didn't do it out of spite," Reynal said, per CNN.

"The evidence will show he did it because he believed it because he thought it was important coverage," he said.

The Times reports that this trial is the first of three set for the months ahead. Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, who lost their 6-year-old son Noah Pozner in the tragedy, are set to appear in court in September in Austin, where Jones' Infowars is based. Later that month, families of eight other victims will testify in Connecticut.

The far-right personality was found liable for spreading baseless and inflammatory statements about the massacre, calling the mass shooting "a giant hoax." At the time, Jones told the millions who watch his show and visit his site that it was a "false flag" operation staged by crisis actors posing as grieving parents to strengthen gun control laws.

A sign stands near the site of the December 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting
John Moore/Getty Images

In recent years, Jones and his legal team tried to get two lower courts to dismiss the lawsuits against him and Infowars, but failed. In February 2021, the Texas Supreme Court gave the green light for the parents of the children killed in the shooting to move forward with their lawsuits against Jones.

The suits "seek to address specific accusations made by Mr. Jones and Infowars in 2017 that our clients were participants in a sinister cover-up at Sandy Hook," Mark D. Bankston, an attorney with Kaster, Lynch, Farrar and Ball, in Houston, told PEOPLE at the time.

They say that Jones' statements defamed them, caused them emotional distress, and led people to harass them.

Jones and his attorneys have maintained that his comments are protected by the First Amendment.

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