By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fox Information on Thursday appealed a judge’s decision to enable voting techniques enterprise Smartmatic pursue a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit alleging that the network falsely accused it of rigging the 2020 U.S. presidential election from incumbent Donald Trump.
The network, portion of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp, also countersued Smartmatic to recoup legal charges, declaring the lawsuit was made to stifle its constitutionally guarded suitable to tell viewers about newsworthy activities.
Thursday’s filing arrived nine times just after Justice David Cohen of the New York Point out Supreme Court docket in Manhattan uncovered a “sizeable basis” to propose that the network “turned a blind eye to a litany of outrageous promises” about Smartmatic, evincing a “reckless disregard” for the reality.
“It is ironic that Fox claims that Smartmatic’s lawsuit is with out basis” soon after that determination, Smartmatic’s attorney J. Erik Connolly claimed in an electronic mail. He claimed courts close to the country reviewing similar promises “are expressing one thing quite various.”
Smartmatic accused Fox Information and many on-air personalities in its February 2021 lawsuit of decimating its business enterprise with a bogus narrative that its election application served Democrat Joe Biden steal the 2020 election from Trump, a Republican.
The Florida-based mostly enterprise stated Fox Information did this to cater to Trump supporters, boost rankings and hold viewers from defecting to the more compact appropriate-wing networks Newsmax and Just one America News.
In Thursday’s filings, Fox News known as the $2.7 billion damages assert “pure fiction.”
It cited a report by University of Chicago regulation professor Daniel Fischel that Smartmatic had been a “failing organization” with $82.8 million of losses over five yrs and four straight years of declining earnings.
Fox News also reported Smartmatic’s promises violated New York’s November 2020 “anti-SLAPP” legislation, brief for “strategic lawsuits in opposition to general public participation” and meant to secure journalists from frivolous lawsuits intended to harass critics.
“New York’s anti-SLAPP statute was manufactured for lawsuits like this a person,” Fox Information stated. “The finest way to prevent baseless attacks on the freedoms of speech and attempts to chill the push is to present robust safety for speech on matters of public concern.”
In a different case, a federal choose on March 11 turned down Trump’s bid to invoke the anti-SLAPP law in opposition to E. Jean Carroll, a writer who said Trump defamed her in 2019 by denying he raped her in the mid-1990s.
Cohen also enable Smartmatic sue anchor Maria Bartiromo and former anchor Lou Dobbs and pursue some promises against previous Trump attorney and on-air visitor Rudy Giuliani.
In December, a Delaware choose turned down Fox News’ try to dismiss a related $1.6 billion lawsuit by a further voting technological innovation corporation, Dominion Voting Devices.
The case is Smartmatic United states Corp et al v Fox Corp et al, New York State Supreme Courtroom, New York County, No. 151136/2021.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York modifying by Jonathan Oatis)