Fox News, Dominion reach settlement in election defamation lawsuit

Fox News suddenly settled its case on false election claims just as the trial was set to begin.
Posted at 4:24 PM, Apr 18, 2023

Fox News abruptly settled a case with Dominion Voting Systems over false election claims on Tuesday. The shock settlement came just as a jury was being seated to hear opening arguments.

Dominion was suing for $1.6 billion in damages.

In a press conference following the settlement agreement, Dominion said it will receive $787.5 million. 

The trial was set to focus on the network's claims that the 2020 presidential election weren't accurate. Fox News repeatedly reported on false claims that Dominion voting machines were faulty.

Most terms of the settlement have not been detailed. It's not clear if Fox News was required to issue an on-camera apology. However, Fox News did acknowledge the ruling on air Tuesday afternoon.

In its official statement, Fox acknowledged the court's rulings "finding certain claims about Dominion to be false."

Dominion said the settlement holds Fox News accountable.

"The truth matters. Lies have consequences. Over two years ago, a torrent of lies swept Dominion and election officials across America into an alternative universe of conspiracy theories causing grievous harm to Dominion and the country," one of the company's lawyers said after the settlement. 

The trial had already been delayed by a day. The judge pushed the trial back to Tuesday to give the two parties a chance to come up with a last-minute settlement. 

"This litigation will not solve all problems, all of us remain ever vigilant to find common, factual ground," one of Dominion's lawyers said. "Today represents a ringing endorsement for truth and for democracy.

Fox will be spared the embarrassment of some of its most prominent anchors testifying about the lies they elevated on their programs. 

"We are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues,” Fox News said in a statement.

Fox News has not said why it settled the suit, but the settlement likely sets a precedent for future lawsuits. A $2.7 billion lawsuit is underway with Smartmatic voting systems.