A New York judge ruled Smartmatic voting systems’ lawsuit against Fox News may proceed.
Background: Following the 2020 presidential election, Smartmatic voting systems filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against a number of Fox News hosts and the network alleging they intentionally defamed the company by broadcasting claims it was involved in widespread election fraud.
In the period after November’s election, former President Trump and a number of his allies questioned the legitimacy of the results and pushed claims that widespread voter fraud shifted the results in Democrats’ favor.
Fox News Hosts Involved: Smartmatic singled out multiple Fox hosts in its lawsuit.
- Maria Bartiromo
- Lou Dobbs
- Jeanine Pirro
What Happened: New York State Supreme Court Judge David B. Cohen said in an opinion that kay portions of the lawsuit may proceed.
Cohen said Fox News had “turned a blind eye to a litany of outrageous claims about plaintiffs, unprecedented in the history of American elections, so inherently improbable that it evinced a reckless disregard for the truth.” (per The Hill)
The Catch: However, the judge did toss out claims against Pirro the lawsuit against Dobbs and Bartiromo may proceed.
What Fox News Says: “While we are gratified that Judge Cohen dismissed Smartmatic’s claims against Jeanine Pirro at this early stage, we still plan to appeal the ruling immediately,” Fox News said in a statement. “We will also continue to litigate these baseless claims by filing a counterclaim for fees and costs under New York’s anti-SLAPP statute to prevent the full-blown assault on the First Amendment which stands in stark contrast to the highest tradition of American journalism.”