A Victory for Sandy Hook Families
On October 16 a jury in Wisconsin unanimously ruled that a parent of one of the children murdered at the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre had been defamed by one of the numerous conspiracies theorists out there who subscribed to the notion that the Sandy Hook massacre was faked by the Obama administration in order to generate support for stricter gun-control measures. The defendant in the case is a university professor who actually published a book espousing this theory. The plaintiff in that case was represented by to Minneapolis attorneys, the husband and wife team of Jake and Genevieve Zimmerman. The jury determined that the defendant had defamed the plaintiff by publishing this nonsense and determined that the appropriate damages to be awarded was $450,000. Whether the defendant has enough assets to satisfy the judgment remains to be seen. Regardless of whether it is ever paid, this verdict sends a clear message to people like this that this sort of irresponsible commentary carries risks. That is one of the underlying purposes of personal injury law, i.e., deterrence.