A judge in Delaware has dismissed the latest attempt from Fox Corp. to throw out a lawsuit from voting systems company Dominion, which is suing the conservative media giant for defamation for claims made on its airwaves falsely suggesting it was engaged in fraud during the 2020 election.
In an opinion issued on Tuesday, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis denied a motion from Fox Corp. to dismiss the suit, saying Dominion had sufficiently shown Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, who own and operate Fox News’ parent company, might have knowingly allowed unproven claims about voter fraud to be aired on the channel.
In court filings, Dominion asserted that Rupert Murdoch “decided to promote former President Trump’s narrative after Trump’s condemnation of Fox damaged its stock and viewership,” the filing noted. Davis ruled on Tuesday the voting systems company “adequately states a claim for defamation per se against Fox Corporation based on its theory of direct liability.”
The court noted Fox Corp. argued Dominion makes “only conclusory allegations of supposed decision-making,” between Fox Corp. and Fox News.
Dominion sued the network last March for $1.6 billion. In a motion in December to dismiss the case, which was denied, Fox argued it “did not create allegations against Dominion,” but that they were reporting on the remarks of others, including former President Trump and his supporters.
The outlet is also being sued by Smartmatic, another voting systems company, over similar claims about election fraud made on its network. A judge in New York ruled in March portions of that suit could proceed.
Dominion and Smartmatic have also sued other smaller conservative cable outlets like One America News and Newsmax over false claims the network aired about the company. The two outlets emerged as an alternative to Fox for supporters of Trump shortly after the 2020 election based largely on their broadcasting of unfounded claims of electoral fraud.