Voting technology company Smartmatic files $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell over 'disinformation campaign'
February 4, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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A voting technology company swept up in baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election filed a monster $2.7 billion lawsuit on Thursday against Fox News, some of the network's star hosts, and pro-Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, alleging the parties worked in concert to wage a "disinformation campaign" that has jeopardized its very survival.
New York (CNN)A voting technology company swept up in baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election filed a monster $2. 7 billion lawsuit on Thursday against Fox News, some of the network's star hosts, and pro-Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, alleging the parties worked in concert to wage a "disinformation campaign" that has jeopardized its very survival.
"We have no choice," Antonio Mugica, the chief executive and founder of Smartmatic, told CNN Business in an interview about the company's decision to file the lawsuit.
The lawsuit, filed in New York state court, accused Fox, Giuliani, Powell and hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro of intentionally lying about Smartmatic in an effort to mislead the public into the false belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.
His allies, including Fox, Giuliani, and Powell, promoted various conspiracy theories about Smartmatic, which only provided its services to Los Angeles County in the 2020 general election, to support Trump's false claims.
Connolly, who secured one of the largest defamation settlements ever in the "pink slime" case against ABC News, told CNN Business that because Smartmatic's role in the 2020 general election was limited to providing services to Los Angeles County, he could easily prove all the conspiracy theories false.
Smartmatic said in the lawsuit that the conspiracy theories had undermined its business relationships around the world, resulted in a wave of threats against its staff, and contributed to a $767. 4 million drop in its parent company's projected profits over the next five years.
Smartmatic's lawyers sent a legal notice to Fox in December demanding a "a full and complete retraction of all false and defamatory statements. " The legal notice said the retraction needed to be executed with "the same intensity and level of coverage that you used to defame the company in the first place. "
Smartmatic's lawsuit also pointed to a November segment from Fox News host Tucker Carlson in which he told viewers that Powell had not provided him any evidence to support her election conspiracies.
The lawsuit alleged Fox and its hosts "were motivated, in part, by the desire for ratings, to cater to individuals and companies supporting President Trump, and to avoid losing viewers to competing media organizations like OAN and Newsmax. "
Connolly, who estimated the lawsuit will take between two and five years to resolve, said that he hoped the actions taken by Smartmatic might clear up the polluted information environment in the US.