Sandy Hook families are asking a Connecticut judge to order Alex Jones to pay them trillions of dollars in damages in addition to the $965 million that jurors ordered Jones to pay the families earlier this month.
The families claimed that they are entitled to the money because they allege that Jones broke a state law that bans the sale of goods through the use of false statements.
Bloomberg News reported that the families arrived at $2.75 trillion by taking the maximum penalty allowed under state law, $5,000, and multiplying it by 550 million social media views that Jones got on his social media accounts in the three years following the 2012 shooting.
“Alex Jones perpetrates this attack for one reason: greed,” the families’ lawyers said in a filing on Friday. “Alex Jones will never treat them like real people, because they are too valuable to him as targets.”
For years, Jones had claimed that the shooting was staged and that the families were crisis actors in an effort by the government to confiscate Americans’ guns. The latest verdict is the second against Jones, following a ruling from a separate jury in Texas that ordered Jones to pay $4.1 million in compensatory damages and $45.2 million in punitive damages, an amount that may soon be reduced due to state laws capping the amount of damages.
The Connecticut trial lasted three weeks and included testimony from the parents of victims and school employees, along with an FBI agent who responded to the shooting, CNN reported. The case itself is a consolidation of three other cases, brought about by various families and the FBI agent.
Since the shooting, Jones had repeatedly claimed the incident was a hoax, which families of the victims said throughout the trial led to harassment against them and continued anguish after losing their children. In 2018, the families began taking action against Jones and Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Jones’ conspiracy theorist organization Infowars.
Prosecutors had asked the jury to award $550 million based on the number of impressions Jones’ false claims received online.
“You may say that is astronomical. It is,” Christopher Mattei, an attorney for the plaintiffs said while addressing the jurors. “It’s exactly what Alex Jones set himself up to do. That’s what he built. He built a lie machine that could push this stuff out. You reap what you sow.”
Ashe Schow contributed to this report.