Fox Information on Thursday appealed a decide’s resolution to let voting techniques firm Smartmatic pursue a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit alleging that the community falsely accused it of rigging the 2020 U.S. presidential election towards incumbent Donald Trump.
The community, a part of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp., additionally countersued Smartmatic to recoup authorized prices, saying the lawsuit was designed to stifle its constitutionally protected proper to tell viewers about newsworthy occasions.
Thursday’s submitting got here 9 days after Justice David Cohen of the New York State Supreme Courtroom in Manhattan discovered a “substantial foundation” to counsel that the community “turned a blind eye to a litany of outrageous claims” about Smartmatic, evincing a “reckless disregard” for the reality. Read full story
“It’s ironic that Fox claims that Smartmatic’s lawsuit is with out foundation” after that call, Smartmatic’s lawyer J. Erik Connolly mentioned in an e-mail. He mentioned courts across the nation reviewing related claims “are saying one thing very completely different.”
Smartmatic accused Fox Information and several other on-air personalities in its February 2021 lawsuit of decimating its enterprise with a bogus narrative that its election software program helped Democrat Joe Biden steal the 2020 election from Trump, a Republican.
The Florida-based firm mentioned Fox Information did this to cater to Trump supporters, increase scores and maintain viewers from defecting to the smaller right-wing networks Newsmax and One America Information.
In Thursday’s filings, Fox Information referred to as the $2.7 billion damages declare “pure fiction.”
It cited a report by College of Chicago regulation professor Daniel Fischel that Smartmatic had been a “failing enterprise” with $82.8 million of losses over 5 years and 4 straight years of declining income.
Fox Information additionally mentioned Smartmatic’s claims violated New York’s November 2020 “anti-SLAPP” regulation, quick for “strategic lawsuits towards public participation” and meant to guard journalists from frivolous lawsuits designed to harass critics.
“New York’s anti-SLAPP statute was made for lawsuits like this one,” Fox Information mentioned. “One of the best ways to discourage baseless assaults on the freedoms of speech and efforts to sit back the press is to supply sturdy safety for speech on issues of public concern.”
In a separate case, a federal decide on March 11 rejected Trump’s bid to invoke the anti-SLAPP regulation towards E. Jean Carroll, a author who mentioned Trump defamed her in 2019 by denying he raped her within the mid-Nineties. Read full story
Cohen additionally let Smartmatic sue anchor Maria Bartiromo and former anchor Lou Dobbs and pursue some claims towards former Trump lawyer and on-air visitor Rudy Giuliani.
In December, a Delaware decide rejected Fox Information’ try and dismiss the same $1.6 billion lawsuit by one other voting know-how firm, Dominion Voting Programs. Read full story
The case is Smartmatic USA Corp et al v Fox Corp et al, New York State Supreme Courtroom, New York County, No. 151136/2021.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; enhancing by Jonathan Oatis)
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