Judge Rejects Fox Motions, Allows Dominion's $1.6 Billion Defamation Suit to Go to Trial
A defamation lawsuit between Fox and Dominion looks to be moving forward to a trial in April after a Delaware judge rejects all of Fox's motions.
After rejecting Fox's and Dominion’s motions, a Delaware judge ruled that Dominion’s defamation suit against Fox could move forward to trial in April.
Fox and Dominion appeared before the judge in front of the media last week. Each company urged the court to rule on their behalf, and avoid a trial.
The judge refused to rule on Dominion’s argument that Fox had acted maliciously when several of its hosts spread conspiracy theories pro-Trump during the election.
The Delaware judge ruled on Friday that Dominion Voting’s defamation suit against
In April, the case against and its networks may be tried.
Judge Eric Davis, of Delaware's Superior Court, rejected Fox's argument that it shouldn't have to go through a trial because it is protected by the First Amendment. The judge granted certain motions of the voting machines maker, except for its argument that Fox and their hosts acted maliciously in broadcasting false statements about the 2020 presidential elections between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
The ruling came more than a month after Fox and Dominion’s attorneys met with Davis for two days in Delaware.
He was urged to rule.
Instead of going to trial with a jury in mid-April.
"We are pleased by the Court's comprehensive ruling, which rejects all Fox's arguments and defences and finds as a matter law that their statements regarding Dominion were false. Dominion announced late Friday afternoon that it was looking forward to the trial.
Fox also commented on the judge's decision.
This case has always been about protecting the First Amendment rights of media to report the news. FOX will continue its fierce advocacy for free speech and free press rights as we move forward into the next phase in these proceedings," said the company.
Dominion filed its lawsuit in 2021 against Fox News, Fox Business and Fox Corp., alleging that the channels' hosts and the Fox Corp. parent company made false claims about the voting machines in the 2020 elections, which saw Biden defeat Trump. The former president
Who was indicted
In a separate criminal case, he has falsely claimed that the election was rigged.
As part of Dominion’s evidence gathering last year, the company deposed executives from both Fox Corp. – including Chairman Rupert Murdoch, his son, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch, and Fox News – as well as top hosts at the network. A trove of evidence was released in recent weeks as part of this case. It showed that the hosts and Rupert Murdoch were sceptical of the claims of election fraud being made on the air.
Dominion has claimed Fox acted maliciously, defamed it, and affected its business. Fox has claimed it reported on newsworthy accusations, at the moment stemming from Trump's attorneys, and was protected by the First Amendment.
The judge granted summary judgment on Friday on Dominion's arguments including defamation but not on actual malice.
To win a case of defamation, the plaintiff must prove that the person or company they are suing made false statements which caused harm and that they acted with "actual maliciousness," meaning that they knew or should have been aware that what they said was untrue.
The evidence that has been released over the past few weeks shows that Fox executives were skeptical about the claims made on the air. Dominion claims that Fox still hosted guests like Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani, and Sidney Powell who made erroneous election fraud claims.
Fox argued in court last week that its case hinged on "whether the press accurately reported the allegations and not whether the underlying accusations are true or falsified." The media company's attorneys have built their case on the idea that "any reasonably minded viewer" would be able discern whether the news was based on allegations or fact.
Davis, the Friday opinion of the judge, stated that "there was no clear and convincing proof of actual malice." Davis said that a jury would be better suited to decide the issue.
Davis also said that a jury would have to decide on the amount of damages, including how to calculate them, in the case where Dominion was seeking $1.6 billion.
Please read the following ruling