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New York City Pension Funds and Oregon State File Lawsuit Against Fox Corporation Over 2020 Election Reports

by Michael Nguyen
8 comments
Fox Corporation Lawsuit

Pension funds managed by New York City and the state of Oregon initiated legal proceedings against Fox Corporation on Tuesday, contending that the media company imperiled investors through Fox News’s dissemination of inaccurate information related to the 2020 presidential election, thus making the network vulnerable to defamation legal actions.

The legal complaint, lodged in a Delaware court, charges Fox Corporation with exposing itself to defamation lawsuits by propagating election-related conspiracy theories. Among these legal actions is an almost $800 million settlement that Fox News reached with Dominion Voting Systems, a manufacturer of electronic voting systems.

“Fox Corporation’s board of directors has overtly neglected the requirement for adhering to journalistic ethics and failed to implement protective measures, even though their business model inherently incurs the risk of defamation lawsuits,” stated Brad Lander, New York City Comptroller, who oversees the city’s pension assets.

Fox Corporation chose not to offer any comments when reached by the press.

The pension funds of New York City, which are long-term stakeholders in Fox Corporation, owned shares in the company with an approximate worth of $28.1 million as of the end of July. Meanwhile, the state of Oregon possesses shares valued at around $5.2 million.

The lawsuit, without detailing the extent of the damages being sought, contends that Fox’s board deliberately opted to air former President Donald Trump’s inaccurate claims concerning the election to appease his base of supporters, fully cognizant of the legal vulnerabilities this would introduce for the company.

“Rather than risk alienating their Fox News audience, the defendants willingly exposed themselves to significant defamation lawsuits and, potentially, consequential financial and business ramifications,” stated the lawsuit.

In April, to avoid proceeding to court, Fox News consented to remit $787.5 million to Dominion Voting Systems, which had contended that the network tarnished its reputation by broadcasting spurious conspiracy theories suggesting that Dominion’s machinery manipulated votes in favor of Democrat Joe Biden.

Lachlan Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation, mentioned at the time of the settlement announcement that avoiding “the discord of a polarizing trial and an extended appeals process was manifestly in the best interests of the company and its stakeholders.”

Fox News was also a defendant in a similar lawsuit filed by another election technology company, Smartmatic USA, for its coverage related to election conspiracy theories.

In a public statement, Ellen Rosenblum, Attorney General of Oregon, stated that Fox Corporation neglected its fiduciary responsibilities by not adequately considering the legal risks involved.

“By making these choices, both the directors and the corporation opened themselves to liability and introduced their shareholders to considerable risks. This forms the essence of our lawsuit, and we are eager to present our arguments in court,” she concluded.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Fox Corporation Lawsuit

What entities are involved in the lawsuit against Fox Corporation?

The pension funds of New York City and the state of Oregon are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Fox Corporation.

What are the allegations against Fox Corporation?

The lawsuit alleges that Fox Corporation endangered its investors by allowing Fox News to broadcast false information about the 2020 presidential election, thus making itself susceptible to defamation lawsuits.

Where was the lawsuit filed?

The lawsuit was filed in a Delaware court.

How much was the settlement between Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems?

Fox News agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million to settle the defamation lawsuit.

Who manages New York City’s pension funds?

New York City Comptroller Brad Lander is responsible for managing the city’s pension funds.

What is the value of the shares held by New York City’s pension funds and Oregon in Fox Corporation?

New York City’s pension funds hold shares valued at approximately $28.1 million as of the end of July. The state of Oregon holds shares worth around $5.2 million.

Why does the lawsuit claim Fox Corporation decided to broadcast false information?

The lawsuit alleges that Fox Corporation chose to broadcast inaccurate information related to the 2020 election to appease supporters of former President Donald Trump, despite being aware of the legal risks involved.

What are the potential repercussions for Fox Corporation and its shareholders?

The lawsuit states that by choosing to air false information, Fox Corporation exposed itself to substantial defamation claims, potentially leading to significant financial liability and broader business repercussions.

Have other companies also sued Fox News for similar reasons?

Yes, another voting machine company, Smartmatic USA, also filed a lawsuit against Fox News for its coverage related to election conspiracy theories.

What does Oregon’s Attorney General say about the lawsuit?

Ellen Rosenblum, Attorney General of Oregon, stated that Fox Corporation breached its fiduciary duties by disregarding the legal risks, thus exposing the company and its shareholders to significant risks.

More about Fox Corporation Lawsuit

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8 comments

WallStBetsFan September 13, 2023 - 10:53 am

Fox’s shares are going to take a hit, no doubt. Curious to see how this will affect the market overall.

Reply
CryptoDude92 September 13, 2023 - 12:20 pm

Dominion got nearly $800M from Fox? Thats a lot of $$$. Wonder what other skeletons are in Fox’s closet.

Reply
LegalEagle September 13, 2023 - 4:14 pm

If the board knew the risks and still went ahead, thats a breach of fiduciary duty. Cut and dried. This is gonna be messy for Fox.

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Sarah_in_NYC September 13, 2023 - 5:39 pm

Yea, i’ve got friends who have pension funds managed by the city. Definitely worried about what this could mean for them. gotta keep an eye on this.

Reply
NewsJunkie September 13, 2023 - 8:28 pm

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Between this and the Smartmatic case, looks like Fox is in for a rough ride.

Reply
ConservativeGal September 13, 2023 - 10:14 pm

Im not so sure about this. Seems like a political play to me. Why now? why not earlier?

Reply
Oregon_Native September 13, 2023 - 10:19 pm

As an Oregonian, glad to see our state taking some action. but really, how did Fox not see this coming?

Reply
JohnSmith45 September 14, 2023 - 9:03 am

Wow, this is a big deal. Fox really stepped on some toes with that election coverage. Gonna be interesting to see how this plays out in court.

Reply

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