Fox News Abruptly Settles Dominion Suit Moments Before Trial Was Set to Begin
Fox NewsInternationalIndiaAfricaDominion had accused Fox News of purposefully spreading conspiracy theories about the company that it knew to be false, primarily focusing on accusations that the company rigged the 2020 presidential election in favor of Joe Biden. Dominion was seeking $1.6 billion in damages and other compensation.A last-minute settlement was reached on Tuesday in the Fox News v. Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit, the judge overseeing the case has confirmed.Superior Court Judge Eric Davis told the jurors after a two-hour delay to the proceedings that there would be no trial as both parties were able to come to a settlement agreement.
"Your presence here… was extremely important," reporters present at the proceedings quoted the judge as saying. "And without you, the parties would not have been able to resolve their situation."
The judge subsequently dismissed the jury. News of the settlement came after the jury was sworn in and opening arguments were moments from starting, which resulted in the two-hour delay.Fox News released a statement confirming the settlement.“We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems. We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false,” it reads.
"This settlement reflects FOX's continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards. We are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues."
Dominion has revealed that the settlement was worth $787.5 million; however, Dominion had originally asked the court for $1.6 billion in damages and other compensation. Fox claimed that the dollar amount was far out of the bounds of the company’s damages and total value.Prior to the settlement, Fox defended its coverage of the 2020 election and said the suit was a “political crusade in search of a financial windfall.”But documents from the case revealed several Fox News hosts and personalities privately spoke about how they knew the conspiracy theories were false, even as they continued to bring guests on who promoted them unchallenged.The private conversations that were revealed through discovery also showed popular hosts on the network becoming angry with other Fox employees when they publicly doubted the claims.Americas’I Hate Him Passionately’: Dominion Suit Reveals How Tucker Carlson Was Growing Tired of Trump8 March, 21:50 GMTDominion Voting System attorney Justin Nelson said the settlement “represents a ringing endorsement for truth and for democracy.” Dominion CEO John Poulos said that the “historic settlement” was necessary because “truthful reporting” is essential to democracy, adding that nothing could make up for the damage Fox did to his company.
Dominion has several ongoing defamation lawsuits against other entities, including MyPillow executive Mike Lindell and conservative networks One American News Network and Newsmax. Dominion referenced the other cases following the Tuesday settlement, saying: "We'll see you at the next one."
The settlement prevents Fox personalities and executives, including Fox President Rupert Murdoch, from having to take the stand and being cross-examined.Defamation lawsuits are known for being notoriously difficult to prove. Dominion would have had to prove not only that claims of conspiracy theories were false, but that Fox News also spread them with malice. The judge overseeing the case had already ruled that the accusations aired on Fox were false and said Fox lawyers could not use the argument that hosts were merely reporting what former President Donald Trump and his allies were stating.