Jones’ decision to seek bankruptcy protection for his company, Free Speech Systems, which operates the right-wing conspiracy outlet Infowars, also comes after he was found legally liable in a separate Connecticut defamation case.
In that Connecticut case, another group of families also sued Jones over false allegations he made about the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.
In a bizarre legal twist, Jones also filed a lawsuit Thursday against his own company in Connecticut, a move that could further delay proceedings in the Connecticut lawsuit.
The attorney representing Jones in the Texas defamation case, Federico Andino Reynal, disclosed the bankruptcy filing at the end of court proceedings on Friday.
Reynal said the bankruptcy filing should not impact the ongoing lawsuit. The trial judge said proceedings in the case would continue on Monday.
It’s unclear, however, what the impact of this decision will be once the jury decides on damages. It’s also unclear how the move will affect the case in Connecticut. An attorney representing plaintiffs in Texas did not immediately comment. Christopher Mattei, an attorney representing some of the Sandy Hook, Connecticut families, released a scathing statement to CNN about Jones’ move.
“Just two days before the start of jury selection in Connecticut, Mr. Jones once again fled like a coward to bankruptcy court in a transparent attempt to delay the confrontation with the families he has spent years hurting,” Mattei said. “These families have endless patience and remain committed to holding Mr. Jones accountable in a Connecticut court.
The bankruptcy filing filed in court on Friday sheds a huge light on Jones’ opaque business.
The filing said Free Speech Systems made $13.1 million in gross profit in 2021 and $9.3 million in gross profit in the first five months of 2022.
But the document said Free Speech Systems had $14.3 million in liabilities and equity as of May 31, 2022.
“Now this is a huge verdict, of course, but it is a verdict that will do justice to the level of harm done in this case,” Bankston told the jury in his opening statement.
“The harm done to the parents, the grieving parents of murdered children who had to endure for 10 years, the most despicable and vile campaign of libel and slander in American history,” Bankston added. .
Bankston said the $150 million figure comes to $1 for each person who believes false information about the Sandy Hook shooting was pushed by Jones, which he says is about 75 million.
The additional $75 million would be used to compensate the parents for the emotional and mental anguish they have endured over the past decade due to harassment by Jones and his followers.