Editor's Note - The ruling by the judge earlier in March, stating essentially there was no evidence of truth to claims Dominion machines were used to steal the 2020 election, essentially neutered any fair trial Fox News may have expected to receive in this case.
Davis ruled that Dominion had already proved the contested statements' falsity. The jury that is scheduled to be seated in the trial in several weeks won't have to weigh their validity; instead, the judge will instruct them that they are false, wrote NPR.
"The evidence developed in this civil proceeding demonstrates that [it] is CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true," Davis wrote in a 80-page decision notable for the tough stance it took against Fox's legal defense.
It was over before the defamation trial had its opening statements with a whopping settlement of $787.5 million albeit Dominion was demanding $1.6 billion in damages.
This settlement comes months after massive disclosed discovery documents and communications, and a judge who ruled about false claims in March before the jury was empaneled this week.
"We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems. We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false," Fox said in a statement. "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 network's statement read.
Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis released the jury late this afternoon and informed them by saying "[t]he case has been resolved and it’s been resolved because of you," the Independent reported.
Dominion argued that Fox defamed the company by knowingly allowing guests on their shows to peddle false accusations that the 2020 presidential election was rigged by Dominion's voting machines. Fox lawyers’ argued that it was protected by the First Amendment and the fact that their reporting was newsworthy.
"The evidence developed in this civil proceeding demonstrates that is CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true," wrote Judge Eric Davis at the time of the ruling back in March.
What was left on the table for trial was whether the network’s reporting was done with malice.
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