Fox defamation case pushed back a day from expected start

The start of a landmark defamation trial towards Fox Information has been postponed by a day, following a report of last-minute settlement talks.

Late on Sunday, Choose Eric Davis — who’s overseeing the case in Delaware, the place each Fox and the plaintiff, voting machine maker Dominion, are integrated — stated that the court docket had determined to delay the beginning of the trial till Tuesday.

Davis didn’t present a motive for the delay to the trial, which had been scheduled to start out on Monday morning with the jury being seated and opening statements. He emphasised the transfer was “common” in a quick assertion to the court docket on Monday morning.

The choice to postpone the trial raised the prospect of an eleventh-hour settlement being sought by Fox within the case, which is anticipated to contain Fox Corp chair Rupert Murdoch testifying, alongside Fox executives and hosts comparable to Sean Hannity.

The Wall Road Journal, which can also be owned by Murdoch, reported that Fox was pursuing settlement talks shortly earlier than the decide’s announcement.

The defamation lawsuit pertains to the community’s protection of the 2020 US presidential election, with allegations that Fox knowingly aired false conspiracy theories over whether or not the voting machine maker’s gadgets have been rigged in favour of President Joe Biden.

Regardless of the notoriously excessive customary for proving defamation within the US, a number of authorized analysts stated Fox confronted an “uphill battle” after pre-trial filings uncovered a generally frantic and fractious behind-the-scenes newsgathering course of.

Fox was not instantly obtainable for remark. Dominion declined to touch upon Sunday night.

The 2 sides are contesting a defamation declare over whether or not Fox broken the status of Dominion by permitting baseless claims that its machines secretly modified votes for Donald Trump’s Democratic rival in 2020.

Dominion alleges that Fox executives knew that they have been airing false statements and continued to take action because the broadcaster battled for rightwing viewers towards rival networks and media shops. Dominion has beforehand stated it was in search of $1.6bn in damages — though this determine is disputed by Fox.

In a submitting to the court docket on Sunday night time, Fox claimed that Dominion had lowered its damages declare by “greater than half a billion {dollars}”. Dominion disputed that the quantity it was in search of had modified. “As Fox effectively is aware of, our damages exceed $1.6bn,” the corporate stated in an announcement

In an announcement forward of the trial, Fox stated the lawsuit was “a political campaign in quest of a monetary windfall” and claimed “the true price [of a loss] could be cherished first modification rights”.

It added that Dominion had pushed “deceptive data to generate headlines” whereas Fox was “steadfast in defending the rights of a free press”.

Dominion stated it was a “robust believer within the first modification”, however the regulation “doesn’t protect broadcasters that knowingly or recklessly unfold lies”.

It added that “following Fox’s defamatory statements, Dominion’s enterprise suffered enormously, and its declare for compensatory damages is predicated on industry-standard valuation metrics and conservative methodologies”.

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