Just hours after the beginning of the defamation trial filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News, jurors have been dismissed with the judge saying the two parties “have resolved their case.”
The settlement includes a $787.5 million payment from Fox, according to Dominion’s lawyers. The original lawsuit sought $1.6 billion.
Lawyers didn’t even get to their opening statements.
Breaking news: The judge dismissed jurors in defamation trial stemming from a lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News, saying that the two parties “have resolved their case.” https://t.co/XL5TxO5HE8 pic.twitter.com/8PrKdgFjeF
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 18, 2023
From the Washington Post:
News of the agreement came at the start of one of the most consequential media trials in decades.
Dominion sued for $1.6 over allegations that Fox defamed the voting company by either knowingly or recklessly airing false claims tying voting machines to a conspiracy to undermine the 2020 presidential election.
Jurors were dismissed just hours after a jury had been selected. It represents a stunning conclusion to the two-year-old legal battle expected to test the limits of U.S. libel law.
Fox News clearly wanted to avoid having Fox talking heads having to testify in court under oath. Many legal experts say Fox News must have known it was about to lose big time.
The issue in the case wasn’t whether or not the fraudulent claims of voting machines changing votes in the 2020 presidential election were true or not. Those claims have been proven over and over again to be false.
The issue was whether Fox News talking heads pushed those lies on their audience while knowing they were false. Over the past few months, in-house communications have shown many of the Fox hosts – including Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson – knew the voting machine lies were false.
Fox News officials admitted in a statement after an agreement had been reached the network had lied: “We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper couldn’t even keep a straight face reading the statement from Fox News.
Tapper while reading a statement from Fox: The settlement reflects— I’m sorry, this is going to be difficult to say with a straight face.. this settlement reflects Fox’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards pic.twitter.com/vjUqf08RlI
— Acyn (@Acyn) April 18, 2023
Statement from Fox News: pic.twitter.com/PwmHqK5288
— David Gura (@davidgura) April 18, 2023
Wallace: A settlement has been reached in that massive $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought by dominion voting systems against Fox News pic.twitter.com/Sv0h4y9tbv
— Acyn (@Acyn) April 18, 2023
Fox News avoided one of the highest-profile defamation trials in history Tuesday by reaching a settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, the company that accused the conservative channel of smearing its reputation in the weeks after the 2020 election.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) April 18, 2023