Alex Jones trial moves to the punitive damages phase, with hypothetical (if unlikely) awards in the trillions

Alex Jones refused to respond to defamation lawsuits filed by the people he relentlessly lied about on his show, but he showed up after default verdicts threatened his income: two cases this year, so far, resulting in spectacular damages awarded against him. And now we move to the punitive damages phase of the trial that already put him on the hook for a billion dollars.

A jury last month ordered Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems, to pay nearly $1 billion in compensation to the Sandy Hook families for the harm they suffered when he persuaded his audience that the 2012 shooting that killed 26 people was a hoax perpetrated by "crisis actors."

The jury also said punitive damages should be awarded. That amount will be determined by Judge Barbara Bellis following evidentiary hearings set for Friday and Monday.

The plaintiffs' lawyers, in court filings, suggested punitive damages could total $2.75 trillion based on one hypothetical calculation, but have not asked for a specific amount.

Surely unlikely and obviously uncollectable, a reflection of the total disgust and contempt with which he is held and civil society's inability to deliver more fitting remedies.