Smartmatic Lawsuit against Fox: Judge Allows Claims Against Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch to Proceed

New York – A $2.7 billion lawsuit filed by election systems company Smartmatic against Fox Corporation has seen two rulings issued by New York Judge David Cohen. The lawsuit alleges that Fox, network personalities, and guests amplified false claims that Smartmatic was involved in rigging the 2020 election. While Fox settled a similar lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million last year, Smartmatic’s case against Fox will proceed to trial.

In one ruling, Judge Cohen refused to dismiss Smartmatic’s claims against Fox Corporation, stating that the company had presented enough factual allegations to support their defamation lawsuit. The ruling does not determine the truth of Smartmatic’s claims but allows the lawsuit to proceed. Smartmatic’s allegations include the involvement of Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch in programming decisions related to the 2020 election.

Additionally, Judge Cohen rejected Fox’s counterclaim against Smartmatic. Fox argues that Smartmatic’s damages claim is baseless and intended to impede the network’s First Amendment rights. However, the judge stated that this argument has not been addressed in any court yet.

Judge Cohen emphasized that the settlement in the Dominion case does not directly impact the Smartmatic case. The doctrine of collateral estoppel, which prevents re-litigating issues already decided, does not apply in this situation.

Smartmatic’s lead attorney, Eric Connolly, expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision and looks forward to holding Fox Corporation and Fox News accountable for the damage caused to Smartmatic.

Fox, on the other hand, released a statement saying they are prepared to defend the case when it goes to trial, which is expected to take place in 2025. They argue that Smartmatic’s damages claims are implausible and disconnected from reality, with an intention to hinder First Amendment freedoms.

The rulings by Judge Cohen set the stage for a high-profile legal battle between Smartmatic and Fox Corporation, highlighting the significant impact of false election claims and the potential consequences faced by media platforms.