Denver-based technology company Dominion Voting Systems has filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, arguing that the network falsely claimed that the company had rigged the 2020 presidential election in order to boost its ratings.
Filed in Delaware (where both companies are incorporated), this is the first defamation suit filed against a media outlet by the voting company, which was a target of wildly false claims spread by former President Trump, his personal attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, and a number of hosts on Fox News in the aftermath of Trump’s election loss to Joe Biden.
Dominion argues that Fox News, which publicized false claims that Dominion doctored votes, “sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process.”
Here’s a digital copy of the 443-page lawsuit, previously obtained by the AP.
“The truth matters. Lies have consequences,” the lawsuit states. “Fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process. If this case does not rise to the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing does.”
Dominion said in the lawsuit that it tried repeatedly to set the record straight but was ignored by Fox News.
In the lawsuit, Dominion argues that Fox pushed the false claims to explain away Trump’s loss. The network shed some conservative viewers after the election to Newsmax (that trend has been reversed in recent months) and had been seen by some Trump followers as not being sufficiently supportive of their guy.
Dominion lawyers said they have not yet filed lawsuits against specific media personalities at Fox News but the possibility exists. Personalities whose names show up throughout the lawsuit include Maria Bartiromo, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro and Lou Dobbs.
Concerning the lawsuit, Fox News said in a statement: “Fox News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court.”
Dominion isn’t the first tech company to file a defamation suit against Fox. Another voting technology company, Smartmatic, also sued Fox News over election claims. Their lawsuit, filed in February, was for $2.7 billion. Unlike Dominion, Smartmatic’s participation in the 2020 election was limited to Los Angeles.
After Smartmatic made a legal threat in December 2020, Fox News produced and aired a segment on Dobbs’, Pirro’s, and Bartiromo’s shows dedicated to debunking various inaccuracies and false statements made by the hosts, as well as some pro-Trump guests about the election.