How the Fox News Billion-Dollar Lawsuit Will UnfoldApril 12, 2023 – Media Mention
Litigation partner and First Amendment expert Doug Mirell shared his insights with Matthew Belloni, host of the podcast The Town with Matthew Belloni, regarding the impending trial of the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News Network and its parent Fox Corporation. Mirell discusses why the case has not settled, expectations for the forthcoming trial, what Rupert Murdoch might be asked on the stand, a potential compensatory and punitive damage award, and more.
"There are two things that are unusual about this case. First, is that this doesn't involve a single defamatory statement like many defamation cases do. This involves a pattern and practice of engaging in malicious lies that are being spread over the course of many days, if not weeks, if not months, by Fox’s hosts themselves."
"Second, Fox is just completely beholden to its audience. In this case, you have a situation where you're going to be able to prove actual malice, not only by showing that the statements were recklessly made or were knowingly false, but you have a motive for doing this. That is extremely unusual in a defamation case, as, of course, is being able to demonstrate actual malice in the first place."
"I think liability is pretty much a slam dunk in that the jury will find actual malice. And if sufficient evidence comes in about Fox Corp’s and Fox News Network’s wealth, compensatory plus punitive damages could well be at or near $1 billion."