Dominion defamation case against Fox will go to trial, judge rules
A voting machine company Defamation lawsuit against Fox News The broadcast of false allegations about the 2020 presidential election will go to trial after a Delaware judge ruled Friday that a jury must decide whether the network aired the claims with actual malice, which There is a standard for proving defamation against public figures.
Superior Court Judge Eric Davis ruled that neither Fox nor Dominion Voting Systems presented a persuasive argument as to whether Fox acted in bad faith without a lawsuit. But they also ruled that the statements Dominion challenged constituted defamation “per se” under New York law. This means that Dominion did not have to prove damages to establish liability by Fox.
“The evidence produced in this civil action demonstrates that (it is) crystal clear that any of Dominion’s statements regarding the 2020 election are untrue,” Davis wrote in his summary judgment ruling.
The decision paves the way for the trial to begin in mid-April.
Dominion is suing the network for $1.6 billion, claiming that Fox defamed it in the weeks after the 2020 election by repeatedly making false allegations against then-President Donald Trump and his allies. claimed that the company’s machines and accompanying software had voted for Democrat Joe Biden. The network aired the claims. Shows internal communication that many of his executives and hosts did not believe him.
The company owns Fox News and its parent, Fox Corp. has sued Fox, Fox has said it was merely covering up newsworthy allegations made by a sitting president who claimed his reelection was stolen from him. In his ruling, Davis said Fox could not avoid potential liability by claiming the privilege of impartial reporting or opinion.
“FNN’s failure to disclose the wider conflicting evidence from the public sphere and the Dominion itself indicates that it had no interest in reporting.” The judge wrote.
In a statement released after the ruling, Dominion said it was pleased the court rejected Fox’s arguments and that “his statements about Dominion are false as a matter of law. We look forward to the trial.” “
Fox emphasized that the case concerned the media’s First Amendment protections in covering the news.
“Focus will continue to vigorously advocate for the rights of free speech and an independent press as we enter the next phase of these proceedings,” the network said in a statement.
The coverage fed an ecosystem of misinformation about Trump’s loss in 2020 that has persisted ever since.
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