- The settlement Fox News may pay to Smartmatic could be around $1 billion, experts say.
- Dominion settled for a record-breaking $787.5 million, but Smartmatic is asking for more.
- Fox News has called the lawsuits an attack on free speech and says Smartmatic overstated its value.
The $787.5 million Fox News coughed up to settle a lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems earlier this year broke the record for the largest-ever known defamation settlement in US history.
Disney’s $177 million settlement for the infamous “pink slime” lawsuit in 2017 dropped to second place.
But the lead attorney in the pink slime case, J. Erik Connolly, now has another shot to be on top.
Connolly is representing Smartmatic in another lawsuit against Fox News, which is still ongoing.
After Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, his legal team pushed false conspiracy theories alleging the election was stolen. Two of the then-president’s lawyers, Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, falsely claimed that election technology companies Dominion and Smartmatic were secretly in cahoots with each other and deployed their technology to flip votes from Trump to now-President Joe Biden.
Dominion and Smartmatic each brought defamation lawsuits against Fox News. Fox and other media organizations advanced the false theories by allowing Powell and Giuliani to speak freely on their networks, the companies have alleged.
Just as a trial was set to begin in Delaware state court, in April, Fox agreed to settle Dominion’s claims for the record-breaking sum.
But Smartmatic’s lawsuit continues going forward, playing out in a New York state court. (Giuliani is also a defendant in the case; Smartmatic’s case against Powell is moving forward in Washington, DC, for jurisdictional reasons.)