Fox sued over 2020 election coverage for allegedly harming investors

September 13, 2023

New York City’s pension funds and the state of Oregon on Tuesday filed suit against the Fox Corporation, alleging Fox News’ broadcast falsehoods about the 2020 election—which exposed the cable channel to defamation lawsuits—harmed investors.

The lawsuit, filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, is reported to be the most significant shareholder action since Fox agreed to pay $787.5 million to settle a defamation suit brought by Dominion Voting Systems.  

“Fox’s board of directors has blatantly disregarded the need for journalistic standards and failed to put safeguards in place despite having a business model that invites defamation litigation,” said New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, who manages the city’s five pension funds, which represent nearly 800,000 current and retired workers and are worth $253 billion.

The State of Oregon, representing Oregon’s public employees retirement fund, joined the New York City funds in the lawsuit against Fox. They’re accusing the company of trying to appease its viewers after the results of the 2020 Presidential election by boosting false claims asserted by former President Trump and his allies that voting had been rigged.

The lawsuit goes on to argue that Fox board directors knew but “consciously disregarded” the fact that amplifying those false narratives ran a risk of defamation litigation. Nor did the company undertake good-faith efforts to minimize that risk, according to the plaintiffs.

Following its April settlement with Dominion, Fox still faces a $2.7 billion lawsuit brought by Smartmatic, another election tech company, though that case is not expected to go to trial until 2025.

A Fox Corporation spokesperson declined the New York Times’ request for comment on the investors’ suit.

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