Fox faces trial in $1.6 billion Dominion voting machine defamation case
Fox will have to go to court to defend its coverage of the 2020 US presidential election, a judge ruled on Friday dismissing the cable network’s attempt to block a $1 billion defamation lawsuit. $6.6 billion raised by voting machine maker Dominion out of jury verdict.
In a 130-page opinion, Judge Eric Davis of Delaware state court dismissed the petitions by Fox News and its parent company. fox corporationbut agree with Dominion’s argument that claims made about their devices — that they were rigged to steal the vote of then-President Donald Trump — are untrue.
“The evidence developed in this civil proceeding demonstrates that it is VERY CLEAR that none of the Dominion-related claims regarding the 2020 election are true,” Davis wrote.
He added a jury in testing beginning April 17 will determine whether Fox acted with “genuine malice” or “reckless disregard,” in repeatedly broadcasting false accusations against Dominion and whether the company suffered damages. harmful or not.
Earlier this week, Dominion made a proposal witness list that if accepted by the court, Fox president Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan would be questioned in person during the trial, as well as top Fox stars Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.
in one sworn in January, Rupert Murdoch told lawyers he believes some Fox hosts went beyond merely broadcasting false election statements and instead “endorsed” the conspiracy theories promoted by the Trump campaign.
He added that Fox “did more than just host” guests like Trump’s attorney Sidney Powell, a supporter of false claims that Dominion’s machines were rigged, which instead, gave them a “platform”. Murdoch also testified that he “did not see any evidence that [Dominion] rigged anything” and that he believes the election “wasn’t stolen”.
Fox’s lawyers have argued that the network is covering allegations made by a sitting president and that such claims are protected by the first amendment to the constitution. However, Davis cited the New York State Court of Appeals as concluding that “allegations of criminal activity, even in the form of opinions, are not constitutionally protected.”
Responding to the judge’s decision, Dominion said: “We are pleased with the court’s thorough decision, unequivocally rejecting all of Fox’s arguments and defenses, and finding in accordance with the law. that their claims about Dominion are false. We look forward to going to trial.”
In a statement, Fox said: “This case has always been about the First Amendment protecting the media’s absolute right to report.”
It added that Fox will “continue to vigorously advocate freedom of expression and freedom of the press as we move into the next phase of this proceeding.”