Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News for defamation.
The company asked for $1.6 billion.
Fox lost a series of important rulings before trial.
On April 18, the parties settled.
(NewsReady.com) – One of the biggest lawsuits in the country was set to go to trial on the week of April 17. Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News over false statements made by television personalities in the wake of the 2020 election, namely, that the voting machines made by the company were switching votes for then-President Donald Trump to Joe Biden.
Dominion denied the allegations from the start. Still, the rumors persisted, eventually leading to a lawsuit. Fox News argued the case was nonsense and said the First Amendment protected the company. However, the cable news giant backed down this week and settled with Dominion.
Last Minute Settlement
On Tuesday, April 18, after a jury was already chosen for the trial, an announcement was made that the parties had settled. The New York Times reported that Fox News agreed to pay Dominion a whopping $787.5 million to resolve the defamation suit. The voting systems company was originally asking for $1.6 billion.
The settlement was one of the largest ever in a defamation suit and came after a series of tough losses for Fox in the days before the trial was set to start. In one instance, Federal Judge Eric Davis told the defendants that they could not argue that the lies about election fraud were newsworthy. He said that it wasn’t an excuse to “defame someone.” The judge also appointed a special master after it was revealed Fox News’ attorneys allegedly lied about handing over all of the discovery in the case.
After the settlement news broke, an attorney for Dominion, Justin Nelson, spoke to the press outside of the Delaware Superior Court. He said, “Lies have consequences.”
Fox News published a statement on its website admitting “certain claims about Dominion” were false. The decision to reach a settlement reflects the network’s “commitment to the highest journalist standards,” it said.
Although Fox News settled with Dominion, its legal troubles aren’t over. Smartmatic, a company that provided Los Angeles County, California, with technology for the 2020 election, is also suing the network. The company claims hosts spread conspiracy theories about it that were disparaging and defamatory, the Times reported.
The company is asking for $2.7 billion in damages, a trial date hasn’t been set.
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