Alex Jones Ordered to Pay $75,000 in Fines for Missing Deposition, Connecticut Court Rules

Alex Jones Ordered to Pay $75,000 in Fines for Missing Deposition, Connecticut Court Rules

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‘It’s a sad day when a court decides it can countermand a doctor’s orders,’ said Norm Pattis, attorney to Alex Jones.

A Connecticut appeals court has upheld a fine of $75,000 against online talk show host Alex Jones.

Mr. Jones was issued the fine on Dec. 15, after he missed a deposition in March 2022, following a lawsuit by family members of the Sandy Hook shooting.

In the lawsuit, Mr. Jones was ordered to pay nearly $1.5 billion in punitive damages for repeatedly stating the shooting was an orchestrated hoax perpetrated by crisis actors.

Mr. Jones had said he was unable to attend the questioning in his home town of Austin, Texas, due to illness and his doctors’ recommendations. However, according to the state appellate court, Mr. Jones continued to broadcast his InfoWars show live at the same time.

He appeared for a hearing in Connecticut the following month, where he was refunded the $75,000 he had paid in fines.

“We agree with the trial court that the undisputed fact that the defendant chose to host a live radio broadcast from his studio … significantly undercuts his claim that he was too ill to attend the deposition,” Judge Jose Suarez wrote in the 3–0 ruling.

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The court subsequently concluded that Mr. Jones’s failure to attend his deposition was willful. However, according to Mr. Jones, the medical issue, that he said included vertigo, prevented him from attending the questioning after his doctors had cautioned him that it could be related to a serious heart problem, although it later turned out to be a sinus infection.

The ruling drew staunch criticism from Mr. Jones’s attorney, Norm Pattis.

“It’s a sad day when a court decides it can countermand a doctor’s orders. Wow,” Mr. Pattis said in an e-mail to the Associated Press, adding that despite the fine being small in comparison with the overall $1.5 billion judgement, “the principal and point he seeks to make here is significant.”

Mr. Pattis in his appeal brief referred to the move by the court as “manifestly unjust,” AP reported, as it dismissed sworn statements from Mr. Jones’s doctors about his health at the time, although it was unclear if the decision would be appealed in the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Mr. Pattis also criticized trial court Judge Barbara Bellis’s decision to fault Mr. Jones for failing to provide additional information relating to his condition.

“When it comes to civil justice, a court’s need to manage its docket trumps medical confidentiality and advice,” he asserted.

However, Alinor Sterling, a lawyer for the Sandy Hook families, referred to Mr Jones’s criticism of the fines and the judge as baseless, adding that Mr. Jones flagrantly broke court orders.

“He claimed he was too sick to attend court proceedings when in fact he was broadcasting his show live—and then he blamed the trial judge for doing her job and imposing consequences,” Ms. Sterling said in a statement to AP.

The 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, resulted in the death of 20 children and six teachers.

Mr. Jones was subsequently sued by family members of the deceased for causing emotional distress by publicly stating on his show that the shooting never really happened and was a false flag orchestrated to push gun control laws.

In the trial against Mr. Jones in 2022, eight of the victims’ relatives, as well as one FBI agent, testified that they were threatened and harassed by people who denied the shooting happened.

The harassment went on for years, according to the plaintiffs, and included strangers turning up at some of their homes, public abuse, and threatening messages online, including death and rape threats.

The lawsuit included nearly a $1 billion in awards to the families and the FBI agent, who responded to the attack, as well as an additional $473 million in punitive damages.

A similar trial earlier the same year resulted in Mr. Jones paying around $50 million to parents of another murdered child in the same shooting, again for calling the massacre a hoax. A third trial in Texas by two other parents is currently still pending.

Mr. Jones has issued an appeal in both the Connecticut and Texas judgments.

The Associated Press contributed to this article

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