Erik Connolly, the lawyer for Smartmatic, the other voting technology company suing Fox News in a billion-dollar defamation suit, wants more money than Dominion got and a retraction.
Smartmatic, you may recall, is suing Fox for $2.7 billion over its Big Lies about the 2020 election (Dominion's similar suit was “only” for $1.6 billion). Fox News hosts Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro and former Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs are also defendants in the Smartmatic case.
After the Dominion case settled on the brink of trial on Tuesday – for $787.5 million but with no apology – all eyes turned to Smartmatic. No trial date has been scheduled for that case. But on the day of the Dominion settlement, Smartmatic attorney Connolly issued a statement, saying, “Dominion’s litigation exposed some of the misconduct and damage caused by Fox’s disinformation campaign. Smartmatic will expose the rest.”
Connolly said more to CNN’s Jake Tapper:
“They need to get an apology. They need to get a full retraction,” Smartmatic lawyer Erik Connolly told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.”
Connolly said Smartmatic is “looking to take this case through trial” and wants “the vindication of a jury verdict in their favor.” But if there were to be an out-of-court settlement, the deal would need to include the retraction plus a payout larger than the massive sum that Dominion got.
“That set down a marker and it’s a marker that we think we should be exceeding,” Connolly said. “The scope of the damage done to Smartmatic is a global scale, because we operate globally… $787 million is a good start. But it’s not the right finishing point.”
I'm not counting on any of that actually happening, though. Dominion said it would require a public apology as part of a settlement– right up until it decided it didn’t need one. Like Dominion, Smartmatic is a business and it will weigh settlement offers from Fox as a business decision. However, Smartmatic is privately owned, meaning it does not have to answer to a private equity firm, as Dominion does.
So, will Smartmatic expose more misconduct and damage caused by Fox? Will the company really hold out for a full retraction? Or will the whole thing settle quickly for another ginormous sum and allow Fox to put the whole embarrassing episode behind it (that is, until the shareholder suit(s) come to life)?
We’ll have to wait and see. Stay tuned.
(Image by mroach from Malmö, Sweden, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons, slightly cropped)
(Correction: This post originally stated that the case against Jeanine Pirro had been dismissed. In fact, it was reinstated by a higher court.)
It’s like that for sports fans, if your team is having a losing season it’s difficult for fans to be invested day in and day out and you’re not going to spend time and money going to the games, watching and listening to the games on the radio or TV which would bring down ratings and advertising rates until the next season if your team starts winning.