HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas judge has ruled that the organizers of Infowars: alex jones Bankruptcy protection cannot be used to avoid paying more than $1.1 billion to families who sued over his conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax.
The ruling marks another major defeat for Jones after juries in Texas and Connecticut punished him for spreading falsehoods about the nation’s deadliest school shooting. U.S. District Judge Christopher Lopez in Houston issued the ruling Thursday.
jones Filing for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code His personal net worth is estimated at about $14 million, according to last year and recent financial documents filed by his attorney. But Mr. Lopez ruled that these protections do not apply to findings of “deliberate and malicious” conduct.
“The families are gratified by the court’s ruling that Mr. Jones’ malicious conduct cannot find a safe haven in bankruptcy court,” said Christopher Mattei, a Connecticut attorney for the families. “As a result, Mr. Jones will continue to be responsible for his own actions, notwithstanding his bankruptcy filing.”
Mr. Jones’ attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
After a gunman killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, Jones made false conspiracy theories the centerpiece of his show, Infowars. Last year, he told viewers that he was “officially out of money” and urged them to shop on the Infowars website to stay on the air.
But Jones’ personal expenses Over $93,000 in July aloneHis monthly financial reports in the bankruptcy case say this includes thousands of dollars in food and entertainment expenses. The spending is nerve-wracking because Sandy Hook families have yet to collect a penny of the funds awarded to them by a jury.
Last year, the Sandy Hook family won a nearly $1.5 billion judgment against Jones in a lawsuit over his repeated promotion of a false theory that school shootings occurred.
The amount Jones owes the Sandy Hook family could be even higher. Another lawsuit is pending in Texas brought by the parents of 6-year-old Noah Posner, one of the children killed in the attack. A trial date has not yet been set.
Relatives of the victims testified at trial. harassed and threatened Jones’ followers sent threatening letters and directly confronted grieving families, accusing the children of being “parties to a crisis” that never existed.