Lenny Pozner, the father of a 6-year-old Sandy Hook shooting victim, has won a defamation lawsuit against the authors of the book, “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook.”
Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington, in Wisconsin, issued a summary judgement Monday that the book’s authors, James Fetzer and Mike Palecek, had defamed Pozner. One of their book’s false claims was that the death certificate for Pozner’s son, Noah, had been faked. A trial has been set for October to decide damages.
Pozner went to extraordinary lengths to prove the book wrong: His lawsuit included a redacted copy of the death certificate, and Pozner also provided public access to Noah’s birth certificate, report cards, and medical records, Pozner told TheWrap. He even took a DNA test to prove that Noah was his son.
“Fetzer claimed that it was fake and phony, and Noah never died and he never lived, and obviously those claims are false,” Pozner said. “A bunch of ridiculous claims, all of that was nonsense. It was proven.”
He stated: “If Mr. Fetzer wants to believe that Sandy Hook never happened and that we are all crisis actors, even that my son never existed, he has the right to be wrong. But he doesn’t have the right to broadcast those beliefs if they defame me or harass me. He doesn’t have the right to use my baby’s image or our name as a marketing ploy to raise donations or sell his products. He doesn’t have the right to convince others to hunt my family.”
The book has also been removed from shelves to settle litigation between Pozner and the publisher, Dave Gahary of Moon Rock Books.
In a statement provided to TheWrap, Gahary said: “I sat across a table from Leonard Pozner for nearly 15 hours during his deposition, another deposition, and other discussions that took place over two days. I looked him in the eyes, listened to his testimony, had frank discussions about our respective concerns, and, in the end, shook his hand. I heard hours of testimony about his experience following the Sandy Hook shooting and the aspects of the event that have caused concerns for me and so many others. After his deposition, I expressed my condolences for the loss of his son, Noah Pozner. My face-to-face interactions with Mr. Pozner have led me to believe that Mr. Pozner is telling the truth about the death of his son. As a result, Moon Rock Books has decided to discontinue publishing and selling ‘Nobody Died at Sandy Hook.’ I extend my most heartfelt and sincere apology to the Pozner family.”
Asked whether he thinks the removal of the book will put a stop to the harassment he and his family have faced from conspiracy theorists, Pozner told TheWrap: “This will not end the harassment. Taking the book down will not change people’s opinion, but my objective was to take the book down.”
Pozner has also sued InfoWars radio host Alex Jones in Texas, accusing him of defamation. Other parents of Sandy Hook victims have also filed lawsuits against Jones, and against other conspiracy theorists.
The families said that Jones’ followers have harassed them and issued death threats based on the content of Jones’ program, which has fueled a conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook shooting was a “false flag” to build up opposition to guns.
Since his initial fueling of the conspiracy theory, Jones has said he believes the shooting did occur, according to the Associated Press.
Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults in the December 2012 attack.
In court papers filed Monday, attorneys representing Sandy Hook families in their suit against Jones said that child pornography was identified in discovery materials provided by him. The filing also accuses Jones of threatening one of the attorneys.
Jones has denied any knowledge of the pornographic materials and says that unnamed individuals are trying to frame him. He has also denied making any threats.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.