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Verdicts & Settlements

Delaware Judge: Fox News Must Face Dominion Voting Systems’ Defamation Lawsuit

— December 16, 2021

Fox continues to insist that its peddling of election conspiracy theories was simply a part of its “unbiased” news reporting.

A Delaware judge has refused Fox News’ request to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems.

As has reported before, Dominion launched its defamation lawsuit in response to certain Fox hosts’ propagation of conspiracy theories about the election technology company.

“Nevertheless, Fox and its news personnel continued to report Dominion purported connection to the election fraud claims without also reporting on Dominion’s emails … Given that Fox apparently refused to report contrary evidence, including evidence from the Department of Justice, the Complaint’s allegations support the reasonable inference that Fox intended to keep Dominion’s side of the story out of the narrative,” Delaware court Judge Eric Davis wrote in his ruling.

Dominion’s complaint targets not only Fox, but some of its most popular personalities, including Maria Bartiromo, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, and Sean Hannity.

In their filing, Dominion says that Fox damaged the company’s reputation by spreading rumors that it somehow altered the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

President Donald Trump on a video call in 2017. Image via: (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead). Public domain.

While Fox had requested that the lawsuit be dismissed, Davis said that Dominion has sufficiently alleged that it was defamed by Fox News.

“At this stage, it is reasonably conceivable that Dominion has a claim for defamation per se,” Davis said. “Accordingly, Fox’s motion should be denied.”

Dominion, notes CNBC, suggested that Fox News made intentional, false claims about the company’s involvement in a political conspiracy to boost its ratings.

However, Fox News has long maintained that it did nothing wrong.

“As we have maintained, FOX News, along with every single news organization across the country, vigorously covered the breaking news surrounding the unprecedented 2020 election, providing full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear-cut analysis,” a Fox spokesperson said in a statement.

Reuters notes that Dominion and Smartmatic—another voting technology company—are seeking billions of dollars in damage from Trump allies who claimed that the 2020 presidential election was somehow “stolen” from former President Donald Trump.

Both companies have lawsuits pending against controversial figures like attorney Sidney Powell, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and Rudy Giuliani.

According to Reuters, in August, a judge denied their requests to dismiss.

Despite any evidence to show that the election was “stolen,” Trump allies like Powell and Lindell have denied any wrongdoing, saying their remarks about companies like Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems are protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

CNN reports that the case against Fox must now move toward a final judgment, as both sides continue to gather evidence.

Judge Davis, meanwhile, is still considering whether Dominion should be considered a “well-known entity,” which would give Fox some measure of protection against its claims.


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