A Delaware Supreme Court judge has agreed to consolidate Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox News, meaning there will be no second lawsuits to sue the network’s parent company, Fox Corp.
Judge Eric Davis’s decision is the latest in the Dominion case, which was accused by former President Trump and his representatives of perpetuating false allegations of voter fraud after Dominion lost to Joe Biden in November 2020. Dominion is seeking $1.6 billion in damages.
In June, the court ruled against Fox News when it asked for the lawsuit to be dropped, accepting Dominion’s argument that Fox Corp. – and its senior executives and controlling shareholders, Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan – had a “direct role in participating”. “approve and control” the publication of false allegations of voter fraud perpetrated by Trump.
However, the court did not honor Dominion’s request for a second hearing involving Fox Corp. The decision, released Thursday, was released by Fox Corp. and it means Fox News will be a defendant in the trial scheduled for April.
Lachlan Murdoch testified at the trial, and his father is expected to sit for questioning. The court said Wednesday that Fox Corp. must have all testimony witnesses available by next month.
Fox News is known for solving lawsuits — it paid $20 million to former announcer Gretchen Carlson, whose sexual harassment allegations against the network ousted former chief Roger Ailes. But the complaint from Dominion looks like it’s headed for a hearing in what will likely be one of the most closely watched defamation cases in history.
At a hearing Wednesday, a lawyer for Dominion uncovered some of the statements Fox News hosts and executives made in statements in which they admitted their skepticism about the allegations made by Trump’s representatives. The lawyer said Fox News anchor Sean Hannity sworn he “didn’t believe it for a second”.
While Fox News journalists reported that there was no evidence of fraud to the extent that it would alter the outcome of the election, several show hosts allowed Trump’s allies and lawyers Rudolph Giuliani and Sidney Powell to propagate theories that the election was stolen with the help of the Dominion. results.
Hannity and Fox News personality Jeanine Pirro were among the presenters who gave Powell airtime, who spread the unfounded allegations.
Dominion alleges that Fox News continued Trump’s false claims to appease audiences who were alienated by the network’s early but ultimately true call that Biden had won Arizona and set him on the path to victory.
Fox News has argued that the news division’s coverage of allegations of voter fraud by Trump and his lawyers is newsworthy and protected by the 1st Amendment.