Fox News Pays $787.5M in Largest Ever Defamation Settlement with Dominion Voting Systems
Updated: Apr 19
Fox admits to telling lies about the 2020 Election as part of the settlement
Fox Corporation and Fox News Reach Settlement in Defamation Lawsuit
Fox Corporation and Fox News have agreed to pay $787.5 million in a settlement for a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems. The resolution was announced just before the case was set to go to trial. The largest ever defamation settlement prior to this one was $177 million.
Statements from Dominion
Dominion CEO John Poulos:
“Fox has admitted to telling lies about Dominion that caused enormous damage to my company, our employees, and the customers that we serve."
Dominion attorney Justin Nelson:
“The truth matters. Lies have consequences. … today's settlement of $787 million represents … accountability…Today represents a ringing endorsement of truth and democracy”.
Dominion attorney Stephen Shackleford:
“Money is accountability and we got that today from Fox.”
Dominion Voting Systems had originally sought $1.6 billion US in damages in the lawsuit filed in 2021. The company argued that Fox News had aired false claims that Denver-based Dominion's ballot-counting machines were used to manipulate the 2020 U.S. election in favor of Democrat Joe Biden over Republican Donald Trump. Dominion argued that these on-air claims caused the company "enormous and irreparable economic harm."
The settlement spares Fox the peril of having some of its best-known figures called to the witness stand and subjected to potentially withering questioning, including executives like Rupert Murdoch, the 92-year-old media mogul who serves as Fox Corp. chairman and CEO, Suzanne Scott, as well as on-air hosts including Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro. Fox had argued that coverage of the vote-rigging claims was inherently newsworthy and protected by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment guarantee of press freedom.
The Fox-Dominion settlement follows a ruling by a Delaware judge that Fox can not invoke free speech protections under the U.S. Constitution in its defense.
Another U.S. voting technology company, Smartmatic, is pursuing its own defamation lawsuit against Fox seeking $2.7 billion US in damages in a New York state court.