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Most Smartmatic Cases Against Fox News Can Go Ahead, Judge Rules

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Most Smartmatic Cases Against Fox News Can Go Ahead, Judge Rules

A $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News by election technology company Smartmatic could go ahead, a New York judge ruled Tuesday. But the judge dismissed Smartmatic’s defamation claims against Fox News host Jeanine Pirro and a network guest Sidney Powell.

Smartmatic sued Rupert Murdoch’s cable news network last year along with several Fox hosts and guests. The lawsuit accuses him of harming the company by promoting a false narrative about the 2020 election: Smartmatic and other voting system companies have accused President Donald J. Tried to rig the race against Trump. Smartmatic later extended its legal battle against misinformation to right-wing media outlets Newsmax and One America News Network.

On Tuesday, in Manhattan, State Supreme Court Justice David B. Cohen said in a 61-page ruling that, “At least, Fox News turned a blind eye to the trial of outrageous claims about plaintiffs, unprecedented in the history of American elections, so inherently improbable that It revealed a reckless disregard for the truth.”

“At this early stage of the trial, this court finds that the plaintiff has requested sufficient facts to allow the jury to infer that Fox News acted with genuine malice,” he said.

He also refused to dismiss Smartmatic claims against Fox Business stars Maria Bartiromo and Lou Dobbs, whose Fox Business show was a frequent clearinghouse for baseless theories of election fraud in the weeks following Mr Trump’s defeat. Fox canceled Mr Dobbs’ show last year, a day after Smartmatic’s lawsuit.

Citing legal technicalities, Justice Cohen dismissed most of Smartmatic’s defamation claims against Rudolph W. Giuliani, who appeared on Fox News as Mr. Trump’s legal representative, saying that the technology company ” had tried the right methods to fix the elections,” among other false claims. Still, Justice Cohen said there was “substantial” evidence that Mr Giuliani “acted with genuine malice because he showed a reckless disregard for the truth” and ruled that Smartmatic may try again. The judge allowed another part of Smartmatic’s defamation case against Mr. Giuliani to proceed.

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Fox News swiftly appealed.

“While we are satisfied that Judge Cohen dismissed Smartmatic’s claims against Jeanine Pirro at an early stage, we plan to appeal the decision immediately,” the network said in a statement. ” The network said it will “continue to pursue these baseless claims by filing counterclaims for charges and costs” under New York’s Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Partnership) statute, which aims to quickly set aside lawsuits that are intended to Maybe quiet free speech.

Fox News said it would do so “to prevent a full-blown attack on the First Amendment that goes against the highest tradition of American journalism.”

Dismissing the claim against Ms Pirro, Justice Cohen said that while she insisted on her show that Democrats “stole votes”, she did not specifically blame Smartmatic’s software.

A spokesperson for Smartmatics did not respond to a request for comment.

Fox News is also battling a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit related to Dominion Voting Systems, which accuses the channel of advancing lies that have devastated its reputation and business. A Delaware judge dismissed Fox News’ attempt to dismiss Dominion’s lawsuit in December.

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