Lawyers for the Sandy Hook families who won historic defamation damages against the Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones told a federal bankruptcy judge in Houston on Tuesday that Mr. Jones should not be allowed to use his Chapter 11 filing to evade $1 billion-plus verdicts made against him.
The families asked that the judge, Christopher Lopez, order Mr. Jones to pay them the full damage awards, with no possibility of a trial or a forced settlement over a lesser amount — in legal terminology, to make Mr. Jones’s debts to the families “non-dischargeable” through bankruptcy. If the judge rules in the families’ favor, Mr. Jones would likely be working the rest of his life to pay the debt.
Mr. Jones spent years spreading lies that the 2012 shooting that killed 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax aimed at gun control. Families of 10 victims sued him for defamation, and in trials in Texas and Connecticut were awarded about $1.4 billion in damages. As the cases went to trial, Infowars declared bankruptcy, and Mr. Jones declared personal bankruptcy late last year.
The families have been fighting him in bankruptcy court