WILMINGTON, Delaware — Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion civil defamation lawsuit against Fox News will go to court Tuesday after being delayed by a day, the trial judge said Monday.
In a brief hearing in Delaware Superior Court Monday, Judge Eric Davis said he made the decision to delay the jury selection process and the start of opening arguments. News of the delay came Sunday night, just hours before the trial was originally scheduled to begin.
The judge offered little explanation for the postponement. “This isn’t a press conference, I’m not doing that,” Davis told a courtroom filled mostly with journalists.
However, he assured the court that the change of date was “not unusual” and noted that he had not presided over a trial for more than two weeks without delay.
This study is expected to last up to six weeks.
Dominion, which sells voting machines and voting software, claimed to have been defamed by Fox Corp. and its cable television networks after Fox circulated false claims that the company rigged the 2020 election against former President Donald Trump.
Fox has argued that Dominion failed to meet the legal standard for defamation and that on-air statements about Dominion were protected by the First Amendment.
The delay in negotiations came as some news outlets reported that Dominion and Fox were meeting to discuss a possible settlement. Fox and Dominion spokespersons have not commented on the possibility of settlement talks.
Most defamation cases are settled out of court. But as of Saturday, the possibility of Dominion and Fox escaping a trial seemed as unlikely as ever. “In the coming weeks we will prove that Fox has spread lies and caused tremendous damage to Dominion. We look forward to the trial,” a Dominion spokesman told CNBC on Saturday morning.
On the eve of the trial — one of the costliest and most closely watched libel cases in years — Fox and Dominion clashed over how much money was actually at stake.
Shortly before Monday morning’s hearing, Fox announced that Dominion would reduce its award by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Fox shared in a court filing a screenshot of an email sent by Dominion’s attorney Brian Farnan on Friday, stating that Dominion “will not present its loss of profits claim to the jury because they have a copy of the damages to the jury.” lost company value”.
Dominion’s original lawsuit against Fox asked the court to award at least $600 million in damages for profits the company allegedly lost as a result of the lies spread on Fox’s show.
Fox said Farnan’s email shows Dominion will instead only pursue its billion-dollar lawsuit for “lost business value.”
But Dominion quickly pushed back, reiterating that its $1.6 billion damages claim remained unchanged.
“The claim for damages remains,” a Dominion spokesman told CNBC later Monday morning. “As Fox well knows, our damages exceed $1.6 billion.”
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