Families of Sandy Hook mass shooting victims, who won nearly $1.5 million in a legal judgment against right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, say they’re willing to settle for a small fraction—$85 million over 10 years.
In December 2022, Jones filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the face of that $1.5 billion judgment.
Jones for years has contended—and broadcast on his InfoWars program—that the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in that took the lives of 20 Connecticut first graders and six adults was a hoax. He falsely asserts that it was part of a government plot to seize America’s gun.
Last year, the courts found that Jones and his company Free Speech Systems were liable for $1.5 billion in defamation suits brought by several Sandy Hook victims’ family members who said Jones false assertions damaged their reputations and exposed them to threats.
On his show, Jones responded by calling the liable awards “ridiculous” and a “joke” while claiming he has “almost nothing” in terms of being able to pay the damages. He’s appealing the rulings, saying he didn’t get fair trials, and that his speech was protected by the First Amendment.
The latest offer by the Sandy Hook families was made in Jones’ personal bankruptcy case in Houston last week. In a legal filing, the families’ lawyers said they believe the settlement would be a viable way to help resolve Jones’ bankruptcy reorganization case as well as that of his company, Free Speech Systems.
But the families’ attorneys also continued to accuse Jones of failing to curb his personal spending and “extravagant lifestyle,” writing in their filing that he has refused to sell assets, and he has not produced certain financial documents.
“Jones has failed in every way to serve as the fiduciary mandated by the Bankruptcy Code in exchange for the breathing spell he has enjoyed for almost a year. His time is up,” wrote the Sandy Hook families’ attorneys.
They’re offering Jones two options: either liquidate his estate and pay the proceeds to creditors, or pay the Sandy Hook families $8.5 million each year for 10 years along with half of any income he makes that exceeds $9 million per year.
Jones’ attorney Vickie Driver said during a court hearing Monday that the settlement offer is too high and unrealistic.
“There are no financials that will ever show that Mr. Jones ever made” that amount in 10 years, she said.
In a new bankruptcy plan filed earlier this month, Jones listed about $13 million in total assets and was receiving a salary of about $520,000 a year.
If Jones doesn’t accept the families’ offer, Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez will determine how much Jones must pay to them and to creditors.