In order to avoid a trial in the $1.6 billion defamation case brought against it by Dominion Voting Systems, Fox News has agreed to pay a $787 million settlement to the electronic voting company.
In March 2021, Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corporation, seeking $1.6 billion in damages.
The lawsuit alleged that Fox News had harmed Dominion’s reputation by broadcasting claims from former President Donald Trump and his attorneys that Dominion’s voting machines were used to rig the 2020 election.
While Fox News has argued that the claims made by Donald Trump and his lawyers were protected under the First Amendment’s right of freedom of the press and were newsworthy, Dominion Voting Systems has accused the news outlet and its executives of airing these claims in order to boost their ratings, which were declining after the 2020 election.
The parties settled on the first day of the trial, which was scheduled to start Tuesday after a 24-hour delay.
Although the trial was scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m., Judge Davis did not take the bench until shortly before 4:00 p.m. and promptly announced that the parties had reached a settlement.
“The case has been resolved and it’s been resolved because of you,” Davis told the jurors.
“Your presence here… was extremely important. And without you, the parties would not have been able to resolve their situation,” Davis added.
Fox is facing a similar defamation lawsuit against electronic voting firm Smartmatic, which sued the cable news company in February 2021 over fraud claims.