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Jurors will determine several damage awards for Sandy Hook families suing Alex Jones

Plaintiffs and relatives of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting with their lawyers leave Superior Court after jurors were dismissed until next Tuesday having not reached verdict in the Alex Jones defamation trial being held to determine how much he owes the plaintiffs in damages In Waterbury, Connecticut October 07, 2022.
Joe Amon
Connecticut Public
Plaintiffs and relatives of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting leave Superior Court in Waterbury with their lawyers after jurors were dismissed until Tuesday, Oct. 11, having not reached verdict in the Alex Jones defamation trial. The jury will determine how much Jones owes the plaintiffs in damages.

Six jurors will continue deliberation Tuesday morning in a trial weighing the cost of lies told by Infowars host Alex Jones about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Because Jones has already been found liable for defamation, Jurors won’t decide whether Jones did anything wrong. Instead, they will focus on the extent of his wrongdoing. That includes placing a price tag on his conduct in the years since the shooting that killed 20 children and six educators – including calling the shooting “as fake as the $3 bill.”

The jury’s charge includes determining two separate compensatory damage figures owed to 15 plaintiffs: the relatives of eight Sandy Hook victims and the former FBI agent suing Jones.

"In this case, compensatory damages includes a variety of categories of injury such as emotional distress inflicted upon by the defendants as well as the loss to their reputation,” said Sachin Pandya, a law professor at the University of Connecticut.

The jury also decides whether Jones should cover the plaintiffs’ attorney fees and expenses under state punitive damages.

Finally, Jones was found to have violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, which factors into the jury’s deliberation.

“Damages due to the defendants’ violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act are included in the other damages measures that I am describing to you, and you will not assess them separately,” Judge Barbara Bellis instructed the jury in their charge.

Damage awards can be appealed after the trial.

Frankie Graziano is the host of The Wheelhouse, focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.

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