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Fox News settles defamation case with Dominion for $787.5 million

US media giant Fox News will pay $787.5 million to settle a defamation case with Dominion Voting Systems, a voting technology company

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US media giant Fox News will pay $787.5 million to settle a defamation case with Dominion Voting Systems, a voting technology company, over allegations that it "knowingly and recklessly" aired false claims tying the company's machines to conspiracies about 2020 Presidential elections.
The settlement came in a stunning development on the opening day of the trial in a Delaware court, and only hours after the selection of the 12 members of the jury. The proceedings stopped around 4 p.m., and the judge returned after a prolonged delay to announce the parties had reached a settlement.
"Today represents a ringing endorsement for truth and democracy," Dominion's lawyer Justin Nelson said at a news briefing. "Lies have consequences. The truth does not know red or blue."
The settlement amount of $787.5 million is roughly half of what Dominion had sought, but amount is more than the total worth of the company, which is owned by a New York equity fund.
"We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems," Fox said in a statement, couching its admission of guilt in less than in clear terms. "We acknowledge the Court's rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false."
Fox faces another such defamation from Smartmatic, another voting technology company, and to the tune of $2.7 billion. "Dominion's litigation exposed some of the misconduct and damage caused by Fox's disinformation campaign," a spokesperson of the company said in a statement, adding, "Smartmatic will expose the rest."
From all available details of the settlement, Fox will not be required to issue a public apology or acknowledge its lies and false claim on air. Additionally, there will be no consequences from executives and news hosts and anchors for making these claims day in and day out, for weeks and months.
Fox News aired claims of election fraud in 2020, made mostly by former President Donald Trump, who is still pushing his lies, and his teams of lawyers and aides. They alleged, without any evidence, the 2020 presidential election was rigged and that the outcome should be overturned.
Some of these Trump lawyers and aides have also been sued by Dominion and Smartmatic, including lawyers Rudi Giuliani and Sidney Powell. Dominion sent them a public message after the Fox settlement. "We're not done yet. We have some other people who have some accountability coming toward them," Stephen Shackelford, another Dominion lawyer, said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 7:04 AM IST

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