Trial lawyers from Bridgeport, Connecticut-based Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder filed suit Wednesday against media personality Alex Jones on behalf of an FBI agent and the families of six victims of the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Bill Bloss, Josh Koskoff and Matt Blumenthal filed the defamation lawsuit, naming defendants in Texas, Florida, Connecticut and Minnesota. They cite a years-long campaign of inflammatory statements by Jones, who claims the shooting was a government conspiracy.
“Time and again, Jones has accused Sandy Hook families, who are readily identifiable, of faking their loved ones’ deaths, and insisted that the children killed that day are actually alive,” according to the complaint filed in Bridgeport Superior Court in Connecticut.
Jones is the host of “InfoWars” and “The Alex Jones Show.” The lawsuit alleges he used his media platforms to wage a campaign of lies aimed at intentionally hurting the victims of the shooting by Adam Lanza, who killed 20 students and six educators in December 2012. It alleges Jones uses false narratives as part of a “marketing scheme that has brought him and his business entities tens of million of dollars per year.”
“Our complaint draws a very clear relationship between the money-making aspect of his business and him seeking ratings,” plaintiff counsel Bloss told the Connecticut Law Tribune. “People can believe anything, but people don’t have the right to lie about someone else to make money.”
Along with Jones, the suit names as defendants Florida resident Wolfgang Halbig, who used crowdfunding to support his efforts against the Newtown school board and town council; Jones’ Texas-based companies Infowars LLC, Free Speech Systems LLC, Infowars Health LLC and Prison Planet TV LLC; Minnesota-based Genesis Communications Network Inc. and Midas Resources Inc.; and Cory T. Sklanka, a Meriden, Connecticut, resident who contributes to Jones’ broadcasts.
No one from Jones’ company responded to a request for comment Wednesday. Halbig could not immediately be reached, and Sklanka did not respond to a request for comment by press time. As of Wednesday afternoon, no attorney had put in an appearance for the defendants.
“The primary motivating factor for us in filing this is accountability,” Bloss said. ”We need to hold these people accountable for a pattern of falsehoods that has caused unimaginable anguish to these victims and has revictimized them.”
The plaintiffs include FBI agent William Aldenberg, one of the first responders on the scene of the mass shooting and the relatives of four children and two adults killed that day. He stepped into the fray after conspiracy theorists called him a ”crisis actor,” and repeatedly said that he and Sandy Hook parent David Wheeler were the same person.
Aldenberg joined Jacqueline and Mark Barden, who lost their son Daniel; Nicole and Ian Hockley, parents of Dylan; Francine and David Wheeler, whose son Ben lost his life; and Jennifer Hensel and Jeremy Richman, parents of Avielle. The mother and three siblings of first-grade teacher Victoria Soto also joined the suit, along with Erica Lafferty-Garbatini, the daughter of school principal Dawn Hochspring.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages, and demands a jury trial in Connecticut.
“The victims here are or were members of the Connecticut community, and we have an interest in protecting members of the Connecticut community,” Bloss said.
The 42-page lawsuit lists a litany of alleged statements made by Jones, Halbig and Sklanka.
It quotes Jones as saying, “I knew they had actors there, clearly, but I thought they killed some real kids, and it just shows how bold they are that they clearly used actors.”
The complaint is at least the third by Sandy Hook families against Jones. In April, Connecticut attorneys at Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball filed two complaints in Austin, Texas, on behalf of parents Neil Heslin, Leonard Pozner and his former wife Veronique De La Rosa.
Those families lost 6-year-old boys in the shooting.
Read the complaint: