A judge ruled that Infowars host Alex Jones cannot use bankruptcy protection to get out of paying more than $1.1 billion of the defamation damages he owes to the families who sued him over his conspiracy theories claiming that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax.
Jones and his media company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year, but U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez in Houston ruled those protections do not apply if they result from "willful or malicious injury" caused by the debtor, Reuters reported.
Sandy Hook families won nearly $1.5 billion in judgments against Jones last year in lawsuits after he repeatedly promoted a false theory that the school shooting that killed 20 first graders and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut, never happened.
When Jones filed for bankruptcy, it put a hold on the families’ efforts to collect the sum.
Frustration from the families grew as Jones’ personal spending topped $93,000 in July alone, including thousands of dollars on meals, housekeeping and entertainment, based on the monthly financial reports he presented in the bankruptcy case, according to the Associated Press.
Jones could also face more damages as another lawsuit in Texas is pending with the parents of 6-year-old Noah Pozner, one of the children slain in the attack. Jones falsely said that Pozner’s mother, Veronique De La Rosa was an actor who "faked" a CNN interview about her son's death, Reuters reported.
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