Monday, May 29, 2023

Delaware jury to decide if Fox is liable for defaming Dominion -judge

Delaware jury to decide if Fox is liable for defaming Dominion -judge

A jury will decide whether Fox Corp (FOXA.O) defamed Dominion Voting Systems with false vote-rigging claims aired by Fox News after the 2020 U.S. election, a Delaware judge ruled on Friday, dealing a setback to the media company that had sought to avoid a trial in the $1.6 billion lawsuit.
Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis denied motions from Fox and partially granted Dominion motions to resolve the issue of defamation liability ahead of the scheduled April 17 trial date. The ruling puts the high-profile case in the hands of a jury that will determine whether Fox acted with actual malice and whether Dominion suffered any damages.

The trial, to be held in Wilmington, is expected to last roughly four weeks. It is possible the parties could still settle the case. Davis heard arguments from both sides during a two-day pretrial hearing on March 21 and 22.

“This case is and always has been about the First Amendment protections of the media’s absolute right to cover the news," Fox said in a statement. "Fox will continue to fiercely advocate for the rights of free speech and a free press as we move into the next phase of these proceedings.”

Dominion said it was gratified by the ruling and looked forward to the trial.

This is one of the most closely watched U.S. defamation lawsuits in years and involves one of America's largest cable networks, home to many prominent conservative commentators.

Denver-based Dominion sued New York-based Fox Corp and Fox News in 2021, accusing them of ruining its reputation by airing false claims by former President Donald Trump and his lawyers that its voting machines were used to rig the outcome of the election against him and in favor of Democrat Joe Biden.

Dominion has said in court filings that internal emails, texts and deposition testimony demonstrate that Fox personnel at every level - from producers to hosts, all the way up to Chairman Rupert Murdoch - knew the election-rigging claims were false and aired them anyway in pursuit of ratings as they lost viewers to far-right outlets that embraced Trump's claims.

Dominion argued this met the "actual malice" standard to win a defamation case under which a plaintiff must prove a defendant knowingly spread false information or acted with reckless disregard for the truth.

Davis, however, said actual malice will be determined by the jury.

The judge ruled in Dominion's favor on some elements of defamation including that the allegedly defamatory statements by Fox concerned Dominion, that the statements had been published by Fox and were false.

"The evidence developed in this civil proceeding demonstrates that (it) is CRYSTAL clear that none of the statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true," wrote Davis, using all capital letters for emphasis.

Fox has argued that its coverage of the election claims was protected by press freedoms enshrined in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment because it was newsworthy and properly framed as opinion or unproven allegations. Fox also has argued that Dominion's suit advances an overly broad interpretation of U.S. defamation law and is a threat to freedom of the press.

Lawyers for Fox also have invoked the legal doctrine of "neutral reportage," which holds that the press cannot be held liable for publishing newsworthy allegations in a neutral way.

Davis, however, said in his ruling the doctrine would not shield Fox from liability, because the network did not conduct disinterested reporting.

Fox faces a similar lawsuit by voting-technology company Smartmatic, which is seeking $2.7 billion in damages from Fox Corp, the cable network, Fox hosts and guests.

Related Articles

If you donated to BLM, you got played
Pfizer, the EU, and disappearing ink - Smoke, Mirrors, and the Billion-Dose Pfizer Vaccine Deal: EU's 'Open Secret
Actor Tom Hanks told Harvard University graduates to be superheroes in their defense of truth and American ideals, and to resist those who twist the truth for their own gain
The Sussexes' Royal Rebound: Could Harry and Meghan Markle Return to the UK?
A provocative study suggests: Left-Wing Extremism and its Unsettling Connection to Psychopathy and Narcissism
France Arrests 10 on Suspicion of Failing to Respond in Time to Migrant Drowning
Neuralink Receives FDA Approval for First-in-Human Clinical Study
Saudi Arabia and Canada Restore Diplomatic Relations
Bernard Arnault Loses $11.2 Billion in One Day as Investors Fear Slowdown in US Growth Will Reduce Demand for Luxury Products
Russian’s Wagner Group leader: “I am not a chef, I am a butcher. Russia is in danger of a revolution like in 1917.”
TikTok Sues Montana Over Law Banning the App
Ron DeSantis Jumps Into 2024 Presidential Race, Setting Up Showdown With Trump
Last Walmart in North Portland Closing Down
Florida's DeSantis seeks to disqualify judge in Disney case
Talks between US House Republicans and President Biden's Democratic administration on raising the federal government's $31.4tn debt ceiling have paused
Disney has canceled plans to build a new campus in Florida worth almost $1 billion
Biden Administration Eyeing High-Profile Visits to China: The Biden Administration is heating things up by looking into setting up a series of top-level visits to Beijing by top officials in the coming months
New evidence in special counsel probe may undercut Trump’s claim documents he took were automatically declassified
A French court of appeals confirmed former President Nicolas Sarkozy's three-year jail term for corruption and influence peddling
Debt Ceiling Crises Have Unleashed Political Chaos
Weibao Wang, a former software engineer at Apple, was charged with stealing trade secrets related to autonomous systems, including self-driving cars
Mobile phone giant Vodafone to cut 11,000 jobs globally over three years as new boss says its performance not good enough
Elon Musk compares George Soros to Magneto, the supervillain from the Marvel Comics series.
Warren Buffett Sells TSMC Shares Over Concerns About Taiwan's Stability
New Study Finds That Secondary Bacterial Pneumonia Is a Major Cause of Death in COVID-19 Patients Who Require Ventilator Assistance
King Charles III being crowned.
'Godfather Of AI' Geoffrey Hinton Quits Google To Warn Of The Tech's Dangers
A Real woman
Vermont Man Charged with Stalking After Secretly Tracking Woman with Apple AirTag
Elon Musk Statements About Tesla Autopilot Could Be 'Deepfakes,' Lawyers Claim. Judge Evette Pennypacker Does Not Understand How Far and Advanced This Technology Became
Ukraine More Prepared for Counterattack as Reinforcements Arrive
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni Discuss Migration, Defence, and Ukraine
Tucker Carlson is back, soon!
AT&T's Successful Test of Satellite-Based Phone Call Raises Possibility of Widespread Coverage
CNN: "Joe Biden is asking for four more years — when 74% of Americans think the country is heading the wrong way“
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Cuts Short Live TV Interview Due to Health Issue
US Congresswoman threaten Twitter Files journalist with arrest
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh slams New York Times' pro-government stance and treatment of sources
Enough is enough: it's time to end the war in Ukraine. While Russia may be to blame for starting it, Russia is not the one refusing to stop it
Fox News Settles their case with Dominion Voting Systems for a staggering $787.5 MILLION
The land of the free violence
Speaker Kevin McCarthy
21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira has been arrested for leaking classified Pentagon Documents
The Supreme Court will allow a 12-year-old transgender West Virginia girl to compete on her middle school’s girls' sports teams amid a lawsuit over a ban
Iran and Saudi Arabia hold first diplomatic talks in seven years, brokered by China
Bank of America cuts short conference after outrage at Ukraine comments
Mitt Romney calls Trump indictment 'overreach,' says charges were 'stretched' to suit a 'political agenda'
The G-7 aims to make global crypto regulations tougher
Russia arrested an American reporter for the Wall Street Journal on espionage charges
Don’t Dismiss China’s Peacemaking Bid