Jury: Conspiracy Theorist Must Pay $450K to Sandy Hook Father
Conspiracy theorist claimed Sandy Hook massacre never happened.
A jury has determined that Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist James Fetzer must pay Leonard Pozner $450,000 for falsely claiming Pozner had circulated fabricated copies of his son’s death certificate.
Pozner’s six-year-old son Noah was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. In total, 26 people died that day at the school.
Despite the facts of this tragedy, Fetzer — who is a conspiracy theorist on a wide range of events – claims the Sandy Hook mass shooting never happened, reports the Wisconsin State Journal. He claims the tragedy was staged by FEMA as part of the Obama administration’s efforts to implement gun control.
The jury award followed a circuit judge’s ruling that Fetzer defamed Pozner by claiming Noah’s death certificate was fabricated. The four false statements about the death certificate were made in a 2015 book and 2018 blog authored by Fetzer. The book has been downloaded more than 10 million times, and about 3,000 hard copies of the book were sold.
A psychiatrist testified in the trial that Pozner suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the murder of his son. The expert witness also said that Pozner would have healed long ago had it not been for Fetzer’s defamation, as well as the repeated harassment by Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists.
Fetzer’s attorney argued that Fetzer never threatened Pozner and there wasn’t evidence that the people who threatened him had read Fetzer’s book or blog post.
In addition to suing Fetzer, Pozner originally sued the co-editor of Fetzer’s book, Mike Palecek, along with the publisher of the book, Wrongs Without Wremeidies LLC. Both previously settled with Pozner for an undisclosed amount. The publisher has also agreed to stop selling Fetzer’s book, reports NPR.
Pozner and other parents of Sandy Hook victims are also suing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for defamation. That case is pending.
On Friday, the Austin, Texas-based 3rd Court of Appeals ruled that the mother of another Sandy Hook victim can sue Jones and Infowars for intentional infliction of emotional distress for Infowars’ and Jones’ depiction of the shooting as a hoax and the parents as crisis actors, reports the Austin American Statesman.
Even though the parents were never mentioned by name, the court ruled that the class of potential victims is limited and readily identifiable because many sources reported the identities of the victims. Jones’ claims “could be understood to accuse parents of Sandy Hook victims of either being untruthful about the manner in which their children were killed or being untruthful about whether their children were killed at all,” the court ruled.
An attorney for Infowars said he would appeal the decision.
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