Dominion Voting Systems, in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit, accused Fox News of knowingly pushing false conspiracy theories that the voting machine company rigged the 2020 presidential election in Joe Biden's favor, in what Dominion claims was an effort to combat concerns over declining ratings and viewer retention. Fox defended its coverage, dismissing the suit as a "political crusade in search of a financial windfall."
Fox has 'admitted telling lies,' says Dominion CEO
"Fox has admitted to telling lies about Dominion," Dominion Voting Systems CEO John Poulos said outside the courthouse following the announcement of a settlement. It was not immediately clear where this admission took place, beyond Fox's statement that "We acknowledge the Court's rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false" -- or whether Fox News had agreed to a more formal acknowledgement in a public way.
And at the end of the press conference, Davinda Brook, another lawyer for Dominion, might have teased potential future actions when she told reporters, "Thank you … to help expose what we were able to discover over the course of this process."
"Thank you, and we'll see you at the next one," she said.
Fox to pay $787.5 million in settlement
"Truth matters. Lies have consequences," said Justin Nelson, an attorney for Dominion Voting Systems, as he announced details of the company's settlement with Fox News during a press conference following the court's adjournment.
"Today's settlement of $787,500,000 represents vindication and accountability," Nelson said. "Today represents a ringing endorsement for truth and for democracy."
Dominion had sued Fox for $1.6 billion.
The CEO of Dominion, John Poulos, called it an "historic settlement."
"Throughout this process, we have sought accountability," Poulos said. "Truthful reporting in the media is essential to democracy."
Fox News 'pleased' with settlement
"We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems," Fox News officials said in a statement after an agreement had been reached. "We acknowledge the Court's rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. This settlement reflects FOX's continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards."
"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," the statement said.
Settlement reached between Dominion, Fox News
A settlement has been reached in Dominion Voting Systems' defamation lawsuit against Fox News, Judge Eric Davis has announced in the courtroom.
"The parties have resolved their case," the judge said.
"We wish to express our deepest appreciation" to the court, a Dominion attorney told the judge.
Davis commended both teams, saying, "I've been on the bench since 2010 ... and I think this is the best lawyering I've had, ever."
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed before court was adjourned.
A press conference was expected to follow.
Judge authorizes special master over potential 'discovery issues'
After sanctioning Fox News last week for a delay in turning over evidence, Judge Eric Davis has now officially authorized a special master to investigate Fox News' potential "discovery issues," according to a new order from the judge.
The order comes just before opening arguments in the case are scheduled to begin.
According to the order, the investigation by the special master will "include a determination" of whether Fox News and Fox Corp "complied with their discovery obligations."
The special master, who was previously appointed to oversee discovery in the case, is now "further authorized and empowered" to look into multiple declarations made by Fox attorneys in the case, the order says.