Dominion, Fox News reach settlement in $1.6 billion defamation suit

The deal came on the first day of trial in the civil case in a Wilmington, Del., court.

Published: April 18, 2023 4:07pm

Updated: April 18, 2023 5:07pm

Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems reached a settlement Tuesday in a $1.6 billion defamation case against the cable news network, according to several news reports.

The deal came on the first day of trial in the civil case in a Wilmington, Del., court.

"We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems. We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false," Fox said in a statement. "This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards."

"We are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues," the network's statement concluded. The outlet agreed to pay $787.5 million in damages as part of the agreement, NBC News reported.

Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis informed the jury just before 4 p.m. that they could go home, saying "[t]he case has been resolved and it’s been resolved because of you," according to the Independent.

Dominion argued that Fox defamed the company by knowingly allowing guests on their shows to peddle false accusations that the 2020 presidential election was rigged and that Dominion's voting machines were involved. Fox had contended that it was protected by the First Amendment and that the allegations against the company were newsworthy.

Davis allowed the case to proceed to trial in late March after determining that Dominion had established the first element of its claim, namely that the information Fox reported about the company was false.

"The evidence developed in this civil proceeding demonstrates that is CRYSTAL clear than none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true," wrote Judge Eric Davis at the time. 

The terms and content of the trial later became a point of contention, with Davis later determining that Dominion would not have been able to discuss the network's coverage of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, asserting that any mention of the matter might distort the jury's perception of the case at hand.

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