The families of six victims killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School are suing controversial talk show host Alex Jones for defamation.
The civil lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in Bridgeport Superior Court. The plaintiffs include relatives of Victoria Soto, a Stratford native who taught first grade at the elementary school in Newtown. FBI agent and first responder William Aldenberg are also among the plaintiffs.
Jones, host of Infowars, is a defendant along with Wolfgang Halbig, a frequent guest on Jones’ show and Cory Sklanka.
Josh Koskoff, an attorney representing the families, said Jones has used InfoWars to suggest that the shooting at Sandy Hook did not happen.
“While the nation recoiled at the terrible reality of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Alex Jones saw an opportunity,” Koskoff said. “He [Jones] went on a sustained attack that has lasted for years, accusing shattered family members of being actors, stating as fact that the shooting itself was a hoax and inciting others to act on these malicious lies.”
Koskoff continued that Jones “knew his claims were false but he made them anyway to further a simple but pathetic goal: to make money by tearing away at the families’ pain.”
Twenty-six people, including 20 children, were killed in the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting by Adam Lanza, a former Sandy Hook student. Lanza killed himself during the shooting.
Koskoff also named Halbig, who was the founder of a now-defunct website that questioned if the shooting took place.
“Like any marketplace, the marketplace of ideas that the First Amendment was meant to protect cannot function properly without accountability for reprehensible and harmful falsehoods like those propogated by Alex Jones and the other defendants,” said attorney Matt Blumenthal. “Because of Jones and his co-conspirators’ campaign of unconscionable lies, many thousands of people currently believe that our clients faked their loved ones’ deaths. These families have been continually harassed and abused as a result, all while attempting to face fathomless loss. Today, they say: No more.”
The lawsuit also names Infowars LLC, the Texas-based corporation that broadcasts The Alex Jones Show on Infowars; Free Speech Systems LLC, which owns Infowars LLC; and Infowars LLC and Prison Planet TV LLC. The suit also includes Minnesota-based Genesis Communications Network, which distributes radio programs produced by Jones and Infowars, Midas Resources, and Sklanka, a Meriden resident acts as a driver and camera operator for Halbig in Connecticut.
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