Two families of the victims from Sandy Hook Elementary School are seeking $150 million in damages in their defamation case against right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
The trial, which started Monday after a long delay, will determine how much Jones owes the parents of eight Sandy Hook victims.
“Now that is a huge verdict to be sure, but it is one that will do justice to the level of harm done in this case,” Mark Bankston, the attorney for the parents, said in his opening statement.
“Harm that was done to the parents, grieving parents of murdered children who have had to endure for 10 years, the most despicable and vile campaign of defamation and slander in American history,” Bankston said.
Jones had stated on his InfoWars program that the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 students between the ages of 6 and 7 years old were killed, was a hoax. The parents have said that they received death threats and harassment due to Jones’ claims.
Jones has said that he also does not claim responsibility for the damages to the parents. “No, I don’t (accept) responsibility because I wasn’t trying to cause pain and suffering,” Jones said, according to the transcripts made public this month.
Jones’ attorney Andino Reynal argued that, “Alex Jones doesn’t trust the government. Millions of Americans don’t trust the government.”
Jones has stated that he owes $20 million, while attorneys for the victims’ families say he has made millions off the products he sells on his program.