Lenny Pozner

Father Of Sandy Hook Victim Wins $450,000 Lawsuit Against Conspiracy Theorist

A father of one of the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting has won a legal battle against a conspiracy theorist who claimed that the massacre never happened.

Leonard Pozner lost his 6-year-old son in the shooting.

In 2012, 26 were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School school shooting. Amongst the victims was 6-year-old Noah, whose father recently sued James Fetzer and co-author Mike Palacek for their book Nobody Died at Sandy Hook.

This is not Mr. Pozner's first confrontation with conspiracy theorists.

Lenny Pozner

Back in 2017, Pozner (pictured above) received death threats from one Lucy Richards, who is a part of a group who believe that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax made up to promote gun control laws.

Richards was ultimately arrested and served prison time for her threats towards Pozner.

Instagram | @hrz_84_

However, this was not to be the last time that Pozner would face down conspiracy theorists.

Pozner sued the "Nobody Died At Sandy Hook" authors for defamation.

Twitter | AmandaQTV

In their book, the authors claimed that Pozner lied about his son having died and that the 6-year-old's death certificate was falsified.

Pozner made the case that since the book had been published, the level of harassment he has received as a result of the book's claims has left him with PTSD.

Pozner said, "I felt like I needed to defend my son", while on the stand.

Flickr | Scott Kempton

While Pozner had apparently been doing fine by talking calmly to deniers and attempting to defuse the situation, once he was accused of being a fake, things took a turn for the worse.

"I had attempted to be transparent."

Unsplash | Kon Karampelas

According to The Guardian, while on the stand Pozner explained: "I published Noah's death certificate on a social media page I used as a memorial page. And after doing that I was accused of being a fake and a fraud and that changed everything."

Dr. Roy Lubit testified as to Pozner's mental state.

Dr. Lubit told the court that Pozner's mental wellbeing, "went downhill after he was confronted by the denials that [the shooting] happened."

Dr. Lubit also went on to link the book's allegations to the harassment and death threats, which led to Pozner's PTSD, according to Channel 3000

Co-author James Fetzer defended his book on the stand.

Twitter | AmandaQTV

Fetzer defended the false claims made in his book and said that there was no way that they could be considered defamatory, "because they're true."

Mike Palacek, the other author of the book, had settled out of court previously; however, as Fetzer hadn't settled, the suit proceeded against Fetzer.

The jury disagreed with Fetzer, and found three of the book's statements defamatory.

Pozner was ultimately awarded $450,000.

Fetzer was less than pleased with the verdict and, according to The Guardian, described the amount that Pozner had been awarded as "absurd." Fetzer will apparently be seeking to appeal.

Pozner was pleased with the verdict and thanked the jury for their work.

Lenny Pozner

Pozner thanked the jury "for recognizing the pain and terror that Mr. Fetzer has purposefully inflicted on me and on other victims of these horrific mass casualty events, like the Sandy Hook shooting."

It's hard to imagine what would lead James Fetzer and Mike Palacek to target and harass the victims of such a tragedy.

Pozner was sure to address the topic of free speech.

Instagram | thelighthousefiu

Following the verdict, Pozner made a statement explaining that this case was not about free speech:

"Mr. Fetzer has the right to believe that Sandy Hook never happened."

"He has the right to express his ignorance."

Unsplash | Claire Anderson

"[The award] further illustrates the difference between the right of people like Mr. Fetzer to be wrong and the right of victims like myself and my child to be free from defamation, free from harassment and free from the intentional infliction of terror."

Hopefully, Noah's family can now start to move past this tragedy.

Instagram | AmandaQTV

It is impossible to imagine what Noah's family have been through, only to have the tragedy brought up and questioned in such a manner by ill-informed and morally bankrupt people like James Fetzer and Mike Palacek.

Free speech is a phrase that people throw around a lot these days.

At a time when people are throwing this phrase around like Captain America's physics-defying shield, it is more important than ever that people really understand what it means.

h/t: The Guardian