Fox defamation case pushed back a day from expected start

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

Late on Sunday, Decide Eric Davis — who’s overseeing the case in Delaware, the place each Fox and the plaintiff, voting machine maker Dominion, are included — mentioned that the courtroom 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 begin on Monday morning with the jury being seated and opening statements. He emphasised the transfer was “commonplace” in a short assertion to the courtroom 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 Avenue Journal, which can be owned by Murdoch, reported that Fox was pursuing settlement talks shortly earlier than the choose’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 units had been rigged in favour of President Joe Biden.

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

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

The 2 sides are contesting a defamation declare over whether or not Fox broken the popularity 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 had been airing false statements and continued to take action because the broadcaster battled for rightwing viewers in opposition to rival networks and media shops. Dominion has beforehand mentioned it was searching for $1.6bn in damages — though this determine is disputed by Fox.

In a submitting to the courtroom on Sunday evening, Fox claimed that Dominion had lowered its damages declare by “greater than half a billion {dollars}”. Dominion disputed that the quantity it was searching for had modified. “As Fox properly is aware of, our damages exceed $1.6bn,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement

In an announcement forward of the trial, Fox mentioned the lawsuit was “a political campaign in the hunt for a monetary windfall” and claimed “the true value [of a loss] can be cherished first modification rights”.

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

Dominion mentioned 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 relies on industry-standard valuation metrics and conservative methodologies”.

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