Fox Settlement Among Biggest in History

But it doesn't include an apology to Dominion
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2023 7:43 PM CDT
Fox Settlement Among Biggest in History
Attorney Justin Nelson, representing Dominion Voting Systems, speaks at a news conference outside New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington, Del., Tuesday, April 18, 2023.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Fox reached a $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems Tuesday, avoiding a trial at the last minute with what is believed to be the biggest defamation settlement in US history. The New York Times reports that while the terms of settlements aren't always publicly disclosed, the only larger defamation penalty on record is the $1.4 billion conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was ordered to pay last year to the relatives of Sandy Hook school shooting victims. But Fox may have avoided an even bigger payout, the Washington Post reports. Dominion was suing for $1.6 billion and several pretrial rulings suggested that the trial would not go well for Fox. A jury could have awarded Dominion damages even higher than what it was seeking.

Other large defamation payouts have been in the low nine figures, the Times notes, including a settlement of at least $177 million in a beef producer's 2017 "pink slime" lawsuit against ABC. The settlement will not, however, include an apology from Fox for airing false claims about the company's voting machines after the 2020 election, insiders say. "An apology is about accountability, and today Dominion held Fox accountable," a Dominion spokeswoman said when asked about the lack of an apology, per the Post. "Fox paid a historic settlement and issued a statement acknowledging that the statements about Dominion were false."

Fox still faces a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit from Smartmatic, another voting machine maker. "Dominion’s litigation exposed some of the misconduct and damage caused by Fox’s disinformation campaign," Smartmatic attorney J. Erik Connolly said after the Dominion settlement was announced. "Smartmatic will expose the rest." Dominion, meanwhile, still has lawsuits pending against Newsmax, OAN, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, among others, the Times reports. (More Dominion Voting Systems stories.)

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