Smartmatic Defeats Fox News Appeal of its Defamation Lawsuit in New York
United States, Boca Raton - February 14, 2023 - Today, a New York appellate court denied Fox News’ attempt to dismiss Smartmatic’s defamation claims against it, along with the attempts of Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, and Rudy Giuliani. The court also reinstated Smartmatic’s lawsuit against Jeanine Pirro, along with certain claims against Mr. Giuliani. All claims originally brought by Smartmatic against all these defendants are now proceeding.
In doing so, the court said, “the meticulously drafted complaint” satisfied the legal requirements of New York law and “the complaint alleges in detailed fashion that, in their coverage and commentary, Fox News, Dobbs, and Bartiromo effectively endorsed and participated in the statements with reckless disregard for, or serious doubt about, whether the assertions or implications that plaintiffs had participated in election fraud had any basis in truth or where supported by reliable evidence.”
Smartmatic’s counsel, Erik Connolly at Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Arnoff LLP, stated, “As detailed in our complaint, Fox News, its news anchors and guests knowingly and falsely published lies that Smartmatic’s election technology and software was widely used in the 2020 election to switch votes—when they knew that Smartmatic’s technology was used only in Los Angeles County and there was no support for making their outrageous claims. Smartmatic has been severely injured and has sued to recover for this harm.
“We look forward to holding Fox News and the other defendants accountable in court. Smartmatic feels gratified by the decision of the New York appellate court, which has rejected all calls for dismissal by Fox News and its cohorts.”
The appellate court also granted Smartmatic leave to replead its claims against Fox News’ parent, Fox Corporation. While recognizing that the complaint adequately alleged claims for defamation and disparagement by Fox News, the appellate court required Smartmatic to further identify the specific individuals at Fox Corporation responsible for the defamatory publications. Smartmatic will do so.
Smartmatic will be filing an amended complaint in the coming days. “We understand the appellate court’s direction with respect to Fox Corporation,” said Connolly. “We plan on filing an amended complaint that details the involvement of Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch in the next few days.”
The appellate court’s decision is the latest victory for Smartmatic in the lawsuits it has filed against individuals and media organizations that defamed the company following the 2020 US election.
“Hopefully the defendants are finally realizing they will be held accountable for the lies they intentionally spread about Smartmatic following the 2020 Presidential election,” said Antonio Mugica, CEO of Smartmatic. “This decision by the New York appellate court is another important step and we could not be more pleased with the outcome. The Fox defendants left us with no choice but to pursue legal action to repair the damage they caused to Smartmatic’s reputation and business.”
The decision by the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Decision, First Judicial Department can be found here.