The judge overseeing Dominion Voting Systems’ $1 billion defamation suit against Fox News ruled Friday that the case will go to trial, denying Fox’s attempts to have the case dismissed before a jury Delaware sits in mid-April.
Dominion’s $1.6 billion lawsuit accuses Fox News of knowingly spreading false conspiracy theories about the voting machine company in the aftermath of the 2020 election to counter concerns about ratings and audience retention.
Lawyers from Fox News and Dominion last week presented arguments in dueling summary judgments that both sides had previously filed. Fox lawyers sought to have the lawsuit dismissed before trial, arguing that the network’s claims of election fraud were both newsworthy and a matter of opinion.
On Friday, Delaware Supreme Court Justice Eric Davis shot down Fox News’ arguments and found Dominion’s legal claims compelling enough to present to jurors at trial, which is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks.
Davis also declined to render a summary judgment on Dominion’s claim that Fox News acted out of “actual malice,” meaning it knowingly put out false information, and that was left for the jurors to decide.
“The evidence developed in this civil suit demonstrates that [it is] It is clear to CRYSTAL that none of the statements made regarding Dominion regarding the 2020 election are true,” Davis wrote in his statement Friday.
But the judge granted part of Dominion’s summary judgment on defamation per se and forgery — ruling that the statements Fox presented were, in fact, false. The question of actual malice and damages will go to the jury.
Fox had argued in part that they aired claims that were undeniably “newsworthy” – but the judge essentially blocked that defense in his ruling, writing that it “doesn’t shield them” from liability and that the court “will not apply the law” . privilege here.”
In a statement, Fox said: “This case is and always has been about the protection of the First Amendment’s absolute right of the media to cover the news. FOX will continue to vigorously advocate for the rights of free speech and a free press while we move to the next stage of this procedure.”
In February and March, Dominion filed explosive findings from the discovery process that included a trove of emails, texts, testimonials, and other private communications from some of Fox’s biggest stars and executives, privately bashing Trump and his claims of election fraud while making them kept broadcasting. on air.
“We welcome the Court’s thorough ruling that soundly rejects all of Fox’s arguments and defenses and that their statements about Dominion are false under the law. We look forward to appearing in court,” a Dominion spokesperson said. Friday after a review from Davis. ‘ pronunciation.
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