Fox, Dominion lawyers spar over top executives’ liability in defamation suit

Fox Corp and Dominion Voting Systems Clash in Court Over Defamation Lawsuit

In a courtroom showdown on Wednesday, lawyers for Fox Corp and Dominion Voting Systems engaged in a heated debate over whether top FOX executives, including Chairman Rupert Murdoch, should be held accountable in Dominion’s $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit. The lawsuit stems from claims aired by Fox News alleging vote-rigging in the 2020 U.S. election.

Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis presided over the two-day hearing, where both sides urged him to rule in their favor without proceeding to a full trial. Dominion contends that Fox’s dissemination of false claims about its voting machines being used to manipulate the election harmed its business. The company argues that responsibility for these claims extends to the highest levels of Fox leadership.

A Fox lawyer pushed back against this assertion, maintaining that executives like Murdoch were not directly involved in the allegedly defamatory statements made by Trump lawyers on Fox News. The lawyer argued that liability should be attributed to those individuals directly responsible for the content aired.

Dominion’s legal team, on the other hand, presented evidence from the discovery phase, including emails, suggesting that top Fox executives were aware of the falsehoods but chose to broadcast them for ratings. Attorney Justin Nelson accused Murdoch of repeatedly allowing lies to be spread on air, leading to the defamation suit.

The high-profile nature of this case, which pits a conservative-leaning cable news network against a voting technology company, has garnered significant attention. The trial is scheduled to commence on April 17, with Dominion asserting that Fox acted with malice in spreading false information, while Fox invokes the legal doctrine of “neutral reportage” to defend its actions.

As the legal battle intensifies, both parties are seeking summary judgment from the court, hoping for a favorable decision before the case proceeds to a jury trial. The outcome of this dispute could have far-reaching implications for media organizations and the boundaries of journalistic responsibility.

This clash between Fox Corp and Dominion Voting Systems highlights the complex legal and ethical considerations surrounding defamation claims in the media industry. With the trial looming, the stakes are high for both sides as they await Judge Davis’s ruling on the pivotal issues at hand.

Original Story at – 2024-05-13 14:49:39

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