Alex Jones’ Infowars files for bankruptcy in fallout after Sandy Hook lawsuits

Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedures put a hold on all civil litigation matters and allow companies to prepare turnaround plans while remaining operational

Johanna Chisholm
Monday 18 April 2022 16:15
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Alex Jones rages at QAnon supporter over lies

Infowars, the far-right wing website owned by radio host Alex Jones, filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday in the face of several defamation lawsuits.

The far-right website was among three entities owned by Mr Jones that sought protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, with each company claiming liabilities of as much as $10m, according to court filings first reported by Reuters.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedures allow for a business to keep operating while they prepare a turnaround plan and additionally pause civil litigation.

The popular right-wing host was found liable for damages in November in a Connecticut court after he falsely claimed that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax.

The conspiracy theorist claimed the mass shooting, in which 20 students aged six and seven years old and six staff members were shot and killed by 20-year-old Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was a “false flag” operation engineered by the government to bring about stricter gun control laws.

He later changed his opinion of the shooting, the worst crime in modern Connecticut history, and admitted it did occur.

The family members of the Sandy Hook massacre last month rejected the Infowars host’s offer to settle their defamation lawsuit against him with a cash settlement, telling the Associated Press that it was a “transparent and desperate attempt by Alex Jones to escape a public reckoning under oath with his deceitful, profit-driven campaign against the plaintiffs and the memory of their loved ones lost at Sandy Hook”.

According to Reuters, the Sunday court filing listed Infowars estimated assets in the range of $0-$50,000 (£38,375), with estimated liabilities in the range of $1m to $10m (£767,400 to £7,674,150).

A trial in Connecticut in May is set to determine the scope of the damages the far-right radio host will have to pay out to the families.

In March, lawyers representing the families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims sought an arrest order for Mr Jones after he twice skipped a deposition in a lawsuit over his false claims.

He later appeared for the deposition after facing fines, but a Connecticut judge ruled recently he would be getting back the $75,00 he paid because the radio host did eventually show at a rescheduled deposition.

The fines, which escalated daily, were aimed at making sure Mr Jones did appear for questioning.

Mr Jones was also found liable for damages in similar defamation lawsuits by victims' relatives in Texas, where a trial is set to start later this month.

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