A Venezuelan company has settled its libel lawsuit against Fox News Network and former Fox Business host Lou Dobbs over their coverage of him and voting software companies Dominion and Smartmatic.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in New York, Majed Khalil sued Fox Corporation, Fox News Network LLC, Lou Dobbs and attorney Sidney Powell for a December 10, 2020 broadcast and related Twitter posts. Khalil’s legal team alleged that the interview and related social media promotion spread a “completely untrue lie”, defaming him as one of four people who worked with Dominion and Smartmatic to “trick or correct the results” of the election in favor of the president. Joe Biden.
Powell successfully dismissed the claims against her. Fox News and Dobbs hoped to follow suit by saying they engage in fair and neutral reporting — and saying opinion statements were not actionable.
But U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton dismissed those defenses in a scathing ruling last year, noting that several election experts had found “no credible evidence” of voter fraud during the broadcasts.
“Here, the defendants repeatedly stood by their claims about Khalil long after Powell’s voter fraud theories were challenged,” his 26-page opinion and order states. “Numerous reports that declared the allegations against Dominion and Smartmatic to be false and dismissed Powell as an accurate source of information gave defendants reason to doubt the truthfulness of Powell and the accuracy of his reports. the Complaint does not allege that the Khalil itself informed the Defendants of the falsity of the allegations against it, Smartmatic and Dominion did.The falsity of the claims against the two companies would necessitate the falsity of the claims against the plaintiff. Several government agencies said there was no evidence of fraud in the election, and even then-President Trump’s supporters dismissed Powell’s accusations.
Now the legal battle is over.
“The parties are pleased to jointly inform the Court that they have reached a confidential agreement to resolve this matter,” Fox attorney K. Winn Allen wrote in a letter to Stanton on Saturday, co-signed by the Khalil’s lawyer, Sigmund S. Wissner-Gross. “The parties plan to file a joint stipulation of termination with prejudice early next week.”
Khalil’s attorneys did not immediately respond to Law&Crime.
“This matter has been resolved amicably by both parties,” a Fox News spokesperson told Law&Crime in an email. “We have no further comment.”
Jury selection for Dominion’s libel lawsuit against Fox is set to begin this week.
More law and crime coverage: Dominion wins rare judgment against Fox News on every legal issue, but actual malice before a successful trial
Adam Klasfeld contributed to this report.
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