Judge Gives OK to Smartmatic Suit Against Fox News

Voting tech company is suing network, hosts, guests on false election-rigging narrative
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2022 10:50 AM CST
Judge Gives OK to Smartmatic Suit Against Fox News
The headquarters of News Corporation, with Fox News studios, is seen in New York City on July 31, 2021.   (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

(Newser) – A New York judge ruled on Tuesday that a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit brought by voting tech company Smartmatic against Fox News and several of its hosts may proceed, though with caveats, reports the New York Times. Judge David Cohen rebuffed the network's attempt to have him dismiss the complaint; Smartmatic accuses Fox of promoting the false claims that Smartmatic helped rig the 2020 election. thereby damaging the company. Cohen also refused to dismiss Smartmatic's claims against Lou Dobbs, whose show was dumped by Fox last year, and current host Maria Bartiromo, both of whom Smartmatic accuses of helping to spread the false election-rigging narrative.

"Even assuming that Fox News did not intentionally allow this false narrative to be broadcasted, there is a substantial basis for plaintiffs' claim that, at a minimum, Fox News 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," Cohen wrote in his decision, per Deadline. There were some claims that Cohen did dismiss, however: ones against Fox host Jeanine Pirro and lawyer Sidney Powell, who appeared as a guest on Fox, as well as some of the claims against former Trump attorney and Fox guest Rudy Giuliani, though Cohen said Smartmatic can refile the claims against the latter. Fox says it will appeal. (Read more Fox News stories.)

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