Judge rules Dominion’s $1.6 Billion Defamation Suit can proceed against Rupert Murdoch and FOX “News”

“He determined that it was a reasonable inference that Murdoch and son Lachlan either knew outright that Dominion had not manipulated the election or “recklessly disregarded the truth” when Fox disseminated lies initially launched by Donald Trump.”

“The Court finds that Dominion has adequately pleaded facts supporting a reasonable inference that Fox Corporation proximately caused Dominion’s alleged injury. The allegations supporting proximate causation overlap with those supporting direct liability. Specifically, Dominion alleges that: (1) Rupert Murdoch “controls everything” within Fox News;97(2) when viewership of Fox News declined after the election, Rupert Murdoch stepped in “to call the shots directly;”98(3) Rupert Murdoch “encouraged on-air personalities to perpetuate [] baseless claims” about Dominion after he and Lachlan Murdoch made a “‘business calculation’ to spread lies;”99and (4) Fox Corporation “rewarded” those at Fox News who complied and “punished” those who did not.100The Court is satisfied that, at this stage of the proceedings,Dominion has adequately pleaded proximate causation based on its “factual allegations of wrongdoing attributable to the corporate parent”

Law Justia (excerpt from copy of Superior Court of Delaware decision)

A massive $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit by a voting machine company over Fox News election lies got a whole lot more serious last month when a judge ruled the action can proceed in a scathing ruling against Rupert Murdoch and his son.

Dominion Voting Systems was given the green light in June to proceed in its suit against both Fox News and Fox Corp, its parent company, by Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric David.

He determined that it was a reasonable inference that Murdoch and son Lachlan either knew outright that Dominion had not manipulated the election or “recklessly disregarded the truth” when Fox disseminated lies initially launched by Donald Trump.

A particularly intriguing development could be the exposure of text and email messages among the Trump White House, Fox News personalities, and even Rupert Murdoch.

“I think once you start to pull the discovery material, what you’re going to find is there was a lot of communication between the Trump people both internally and externally about pushing very specific lies and narratives,” Angelo Carusone, chief executive of Media Matters for America, told The Guardian.

Huffington Post and Law Justia