The highly-publicized $1.6bn lawsuit between Dominion Voting and Fox News has come to an unexpected end with a settlement. Dominion Voting Systems had filed the lawsuit against the network, claiming that its reputation was damaged after Fox spread false information about its voting machines in the aftermath of the 2020 US election. The lawsuit accused Fox hosts of amplifying baseless allegations against the company in dozens of broadcasts, despite knowing the claims to be untrue.
The allegations against Dominion’s machines were repeatedly made by then-president Donald Trump, who falsely claimed that the company rigged the election in favour of Joe Biden. Fox News argued that these claims were newsworthy and should be protected by the First Amendment, which enshrines the right to free speech. However, Dominion maintained that Fox knowingly spread false information that harmed the company’s reputation.
The settlement brings an abrupt end to the lawsuit, which had been closely watched by media organizations and legal experts alike. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, and it is unclear what impact the lawsuit and settlement will have on future reporting about voting machines and election integrity. However, the settlement does provide some closure for Dominion Voting, which has faced intense scrutiny and criticism in the aftermath of the 2020 US election.