On Friday, right-wing channel Fox News was served with a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, a voting technology company that was the target of the network’s baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
In the lawsuit, Dominion alleges that the network “orchestrated defamatory campaign” and “recklessly disregarded the truth” and participated in a disinformation campaign against it because “the lies were good for Fox’s business.”
Following the 2020 election, then-President Donald Trump falsely asserted that the election had been rigged against him. His allies promoted outlandish conspiracy theories about Dominion to support Trump’s false claims.
“Fox took a small flame” of disinformation and “turned it into a forest fire,” Dominion said in its lawsuit.
“The truth matters. Lies have consequences,” Dominion’s lawsuit added. “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.”
The technology company said that as a result of Fox’s “orchestrated defamatory campaign” it had suffered “enormous and irreparable economic harm” and that its employees had been subject to death threats.
Dominion is the second election technology company to file a lawsuit against Fox. Smartmatic sued Fox for $2.7 billion in February, making similar allegations against the network. Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and individual Fox hosts were named in that suit in addition to the network.
Government officials and independent experts repeatedly said after the November election that there was no evidence of significant widespread fraud. Nevertheless, Fox’s top shows repeatedly suggested that Trump’s claims had merit.
In its lawsuit, Dominion specifically mentioned hosts Maria Bartiromo, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, and Jeanine Pirro, three of whom were named as defendants in Smartmatic’s lawsuit. Fox is the sole defendant in this suit.
Fox eventually aired an unusual point-by-point fact check last year, debunking some of the wild election fraud claims made on the network. That package aired after Smartmatic sent Fox a legal threat.
Fox filed a motion to have the suit dismissed and vowed to “vigorously defend” itself in court.