One of the most closely watched US defamation cases in decades is set to begin this week as a Delaware court picks a jury to decide whether Fox News should pay Dominion Voting Systems $1.6bn (£1.3bn) for spreading falsehoods on election rigging.
A critical task for jurors over the five-week trial will be to decide who was responsible for the cable network’s decision to broadcast the claims, despite internal doubts about their veracity. Dominion asserts that Fox’s top brass approved of the coverage, but the network disputes this.
Last week, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis said he would not block Dominion from calling Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Fox News parent company Fox Corp, to testify in person about his involvement in the coverage, which Judge Davis has ruled was false and defamatory.
“The more complicit the whole organisation is in perpetuating these known falsehoods, the more likely a jury would be to return a big dollar figure,” said Mary-Rose Papandrea, a constitutional law professor.
Associated Newspapers Limited