What’s Next for Dominion After Its $787.5 Million Settlement With Fox News?

This victorious Dominion case against Fox News and Rupert Murdoch’s gang of liars, is another reminder and confirmation of the age-old adage my Nana would invoke, when I was bellyaching about some punishment I was suffering, due to some bone-headed thing I’d done!

My Nana would intone, “You made your bed young man, and now you’ll have to lie in it. Just remember, you made it all by yourself!” How I hated to hear those wor

But now, how I wish she was still around, so I could tell her how right she was and how grateful I am. Grateful to have had those words ringing in my ear, to save me from bad choices I could have made, but at least in some cases did not! However in truth, I still made too many and sometimes think to myself, thank God there was Nana!.

But it sure would have been great to ask her, “Hey Nana, what do you think about Fox News’ and Mr. Murdoch’s spanking?” I can just hear the words! 🙂 Miss you Nana!


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What’s Next for Dominion After Its $787.5 Million Settlement With Fox News?

The election technology company has several more defamation lawsuits pending against public figures and news outlets.

Dominion Voting Systems did more on Tuesday than settle its lawsuit against Fox News for $787.5 million: It also set the tone for the many related defamation cases it has filed.

Legal experts say the settlement with Fox News, one of the largest defamation payouts in American history, could embolden Dominion as it continues to defend its reputation, which it says was savaged by conspiracy theories about vote fraud during the 2020 election. The company has several cases pending against public figures including Mike Lindell, the MyPillow executive, and news outlets such as Newsmax

The targets of Dominion’s remaining lawsuits, few of which have deep pockets and legal firepower at Fox’s level, are likely to take a cue from Dominion and Fox’s face-off, legal experts said.

“Even though it was a settlement, it certainly was a victory for Dominion,” said Margaret M. Russell, a law professor at Santa Clara University. “For other possible defendants, I don’t think this will make them double down; it will make them fearful.”

Dominion is the second-largest election technology company operating in the United States, where there are few other major players. The company, whose majority owner is the private equity firm Staple Street Capital, was made “toxic” by the false fraud narratives in 2020, one of Staple Street’s founders said in court documents. At one point, Dominion estimated that misinformation had cost it $600 million in profits.

Fox said in its court filings that Dominion did not have to lay off employees, close offices or default on any debts, nor did it suffer any canceled business contracts as a result of the news network’s coverage. Fox said in one filing that Dominion had projected $98 million in revenue for 2022, which would make Tuesday’s settlement the equivalent of eight years of sales.

Dominion’s customers are largely officials who oversee voting in states and counties around the country; the company served 28 states, as well as Puerto Rico, in the 2020 election. The false stories about fraud that were directed at the company were embraced by some local election officials.

In court documents, an expert enlisted by Dominion said the company had very low early contract termination rates and very high contract renewal rates before the 2020 election, but blamed the preoccupation with the false fraud claims for prompting some clients to exit deals after the vote.

Now, Dominion has emerged from its tussle with Fox in a stronger position to win back any skittish clients or score new business, legal experts said.

Last month, the judge in Dominion’s case against Fox reviewed evidence of the false claims and wrote that it “is CRYSTAL clear that none of the statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true,” effectively confirming that the company was aboveboard.

The secretary of state of New Mexico, Maggie Toulouse Oliver, applauded Tuesday’s settlement.

“The harm done by election lies/denialism since 2020 is immeasurable, but this settlement against Fox News provides accountability & sends a strong message we’re happy to see,” Ms. Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter. During the midterm primaries last year, she blamed “unfounded conspiracy theories” when she sued officials in Otero County who had cited concerns about Dominion machines in their refusal to certify election results.

Fox acknowledged in a statement on Tuesday that some of the claims it had made about Dominion were false, saying the admission “reflects Fox’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards.”

John Poulos, Dominion’s founder and chief executive, said in a statement on Tuesday that Fox had caused “enormous damage” to his company and that “nothing can ever make up for that.” He also thanked the election officials who make up Dominion’s clientele, and nodded to Staple Street’s support.

Dominion drew some complaints that, by settling, it had given up the opportunity to extract an apology from Fox or force it through a potentially embarrassing trial. An opinion article in The Daily Beast bemoaned that the voting technology company had “decided to step out of the ring with a bag of money instead of vanquishing one of the country’s most destructive and influential peddlers of hate and disinformation.”

Mr. Poulos called the settlement “a big step forward for democracy” in an interview with ABC News broadcast on Wednesday.

Legal experts noted that even if Dominion had prevailed in a jury verdict, it would have risked years of expensive battles over appeals from Fox.

“The tort of defamation is not about saving democracy from liars,” said Enrique Armijo, a professor and First Amendment expert at Elon University School of Law. “It’s about saving the reputation of the people who have been lied about and making those liars compensate them for the harms to their reputations.”

Fox still faces other legal challenges, including a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit from another election technology company, Smartmatic. Fox said it planned to defend freedom of the press in the case and called Smartmatic’s damages claims “outrageous, unsupported and not rooted in sound financial analysis.”

Smartmatic said in a statement that, after the Dominion settlement, it “will expose the rest” of the “misconduct and damage caused by Fox’s disinformation campaign.”

Dominion, too, has more cases pending, including against the pro-Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and One America News Network. Although the lawsuits involve similar false claims of election fraud, the facts of each case vary, experts said.

Lawyers for Mr. Lindell and Mr. Giuliani did not immediately respond to requests for comment, nor did Newsmax or OAN.

For the individuals and smaller companies facing legal claims, for whom a substantial jury judgment could be an “existential” threat, settlement may seem more attractive after Tuesday, Mr. Armijo said.

“They’re not going to be able to put up the same level of defense that Fox did; they just don’t have the resources to do it,” he said. “It’s hard to see the other defamation defendants in the remaining cases getting any further than Fox did, which, as we saw, is not very far.”


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…And here is a genuine story about how even minimal effort to bring comfort to another human can result in outsized and wonderful results. How different the world might seem to many if that kind of true effort actually ran wild! It is a thought worth considering. It is also a siren call to each of us!

New research shows small gestures matter even more than we may think.

I wonder about when this train actually went off the rail and Balwani and Holmes both knew it. It reminds me somewhat of Bernie Madoff’s $20 Billion deception in that if Bernie had fessed up when his performance first went south and he tried to cover it up, only to make it worse, he might largely have been forgiven and returned to his original trading business. But he just couldn’t do that and as time went on…well we know the result.

Was there a similar trajectory for this pair? A time when they looked at each other and said, “Uh oh!” Not that it matters really. Somewhere along the way they knew what was going down and kept it going for as long as they could. Now have to face the music as eventually, always is the case. It is simply “The Law of Cause and Effect” unfolding. Hopefully for them there will be less tragic endings than Bernie. It depends on how they handle what they have wrought! We’ll see.