Fox News will pay Dominion $787.5 million for 2020 US election lawsuit

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World News, April 19, 2023. As a result of its coverage of the 2020 US election, Fox News has resolved a defamation lawsuit filed by voting equipment manufacturer Dominion.
The Rupert Murdoch-owned network has agreed to pay Dominion $787.5 million (£634 million). 
ImageAlthough there will be a sizable compensation, Fox will escape what some have called the “defamation trial of the century.”
However, another voting technology company, Smartmatic, has filed a second, related case against the network.
With the matter now behind them thanks to the settlement, both Fox and Dominion may declare triumph.
“In this scenario, two large firms are naturally risk cautious. And it’s hazardous whenever you have a jury,” David Logan, professor of law at Roger Williams University.

It is one of the largest cash settlements in a slander case ever at approximately $800 million.
“It’s clear that this is a big quantity, and we shouldn’t ignore that. I mean, it’s a very, really big number,” left-leaning media watchdog Media Matters for America head Angelo Carusone told.
Though it is less than half of the $1.6 billion that Dominion had originally requested.
For context, parent firm Fox Corporation recorded net profits of $1.23 billion for the most recent fiscal year.
Additionally, it has a sizable cash reserve of $4 billion, as per recent corporate filings.
The News Corp media empire, which is headed by Rupert Murdoch and his family and includes Fox News and The Times of London

and The Wall Street Journal – have a combined estimated wealth of $17.6 billion, per Forbes magazine.
The agreement also prevents Mr. Murdoch, Fox executives, and several of the network’s anchors from being required to testify in one of the most well-known defamation cases in history.
According to Prof. Logan, Fox would have to cope with more damaging disclosures.
The possible financial burden of the litigation, should Dominion have prevailed, may have also been taken into consideration by the company’s legal counsel.
In a written statement, Fox admitted what the court had found to be true—that Fox had lied about Dominion—but it offered no apologies.
“We are optimistic that our choice to amicably settle this conflict with Dominion, rather than via the acrimony

permits the nation to move past these difficulties in the absence of a contentious trial,” the statement stated.
Fox, though, won’t be able to put the problems with its coverage of the 2020 election behind them just soon.
Another electoral technology company, Smartmatic, has filed a second, related defamation action against it and is demanding $2.7 billion.
The $787.5 million Fox payoff for Dominion could just be the beginning.
It still has charges pending against numerous of former President Donald Trump’s allies as well as Fox’s smaller competitors Newsmax and OAN.

The Case

In November 2020, Fox News faced a lawsuit over its coverage of the US Presidential election. The lawsuit was filed by Smartmatic, a voting technology company, and alleged that Fox News, along with some of its anchors and guests, made false and defamatory statements about Smartmatic’s role in the election.

Smartmatic claimed that Fox News falsely accused the company of being involved in a conspiracy to rig the election in favor of then-candidate Joe Biden. Smartmatic argued that these statements damaged the company’s reputation and business prospects.

Fox News responded to the lawsuit by filing a motion to dismiss, stating that the network’s coverage of the election was protected by the First Amendment and that Smartmatic had failed to provide evidence of actual malice, which is required to prove defamation against a public figure.

In February 2021, Smartmatic voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit against Fox News, citing its success in correcting the false information spread about it and its voting technology. Fox News released a statement following the dismissal, stating that it was pleased with the outcome and that it would continue to provide fair and accurate coverage of important issues.

Overall, the lawsuit against Fox News highlighted the importance of responsible journalism and the potential consequences of spreading false information. It also raised questions about the role of media in shaping public opinion and the need for fact-checking and accountability.

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