Dominion wins round in defamation case against Fox

The Dominion defamation lawsuit against Fox got a boost from Delaware judge Eric Davis who ruled that there was adequate showing that Fox was culpable in its false claim that Dominion was part of a national voter-fraud conspiracy to deprive then-President Donald Trump of victory in the 2020 election. In refusing to dismiss the lawsuit, Davis wrote, “Dominion alleges that: (1) Rupert Murdoch ‘controls everything’ within Fox News; (2) when viewership of Fox News declined after the election, Rupert Murdoch stepped in ‘to call the shots directly;’ (3) Rupert Murdoch ‘encouraged on-air personalities to perpetuate baseless claims’ about Dominion after he and Lachlan Murdoch made a ‘business calculation’ to spread lies; and (4) Fox Corporation ‘rewarded’ those at Fox News who complied and ‘punished’ those who did not.” (The Washington Post, June 23, 2022, by Erik Wemple)

In addressing the issue of actual malice, the difficult standard that must be met in defamation cases involving the press, Davis wrote, “These allegations [that Murdoch had informed Trump a few days after the election that he had lost] support a reasonable inference that Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch either knew Dominion had not manipulated the election or at least recklessly disregarded the truth when they allegedly caused Fox News to propagate its claims about Dominion.” (Bloomberg, June 21, 2022, by Erik Larson and Mike Leonard)

For related FAC coverage, click here, here and here.