Dominion Voting Systems on Friday morning filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, alleging that the network share false news about the 2020 US election.
Dominion notes that Fox News intentionally aired false allegations that its software rigged the election against former President Donald Trump “because the lies were good for Fox’s business.”
Dominion said the network was trying to get back viewers who were angered when the network called the Nov. 3 election for Trump’s Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.
According to the company, the legal action follows repeated demands for retractions, adding that “Fox producers, content managers, and hosts were notified more than 30 times that their smears were not true.”
“The disinformation campaign waged against our company has caused us severe damage and undermined trust in American democratic institutions,” Dominion CEO John Poulos said. “These lies also have threatened the personal safety of our employees and customers. No amount of money will repair the damage done.”
The suit highlights the number of times Fox News segments contained false claims that Dominion equipment was used to rig the 2020 election, that it was tied to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, or that it paid off U.S. government officials.
“Fox took a small flame and turned it into a forest fire,” the 441-page lawsuit reads. “As the dominant media company among those viewers dissatisfied with the election results, Fox gave these fictions a prominence they otherwise would never have achieved. With Fox’s global platform, an audience of hundreds of millions, and the inevitable and extensive republication and dissemination of the falsehoods through social media, these lies deeply damaged Dominion’s once-thriving business.”
A Fox spokesperson said in an email that “FOX News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court.”
The suit is the fifth billion-dollar lawsuit filed by an election company over false claims that the 2020 election was rigged, and the fourth by Dominion. Dominion has sued Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, lawyers affiliated with former President Donald Trump, as well as MyPillow Founder and Trump supporter Mike Lindell for their roles in sharing false claims about the company.
Trump began casting doubt on the integrity of the election months before the votes were counted, claiming the only way he could lose was if the election was “stolen.” After the results showed Trump had lost his reelection bid, the president and his supporters insisted that the election was rigged.
Dominion became the center of one election conspiracy theory that falsely claimed its voting machines and software employed an algorithm to flip votes from Trump to Biden. Those claims have been thoroughly debunked and election audits found no evidence to support the allegations.