Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis ordered a mid-April trial in the defamation action filed by voting systems company Dominion against Fox New.
Dominion alleges that Fox News housed allowed guests to repeat false information about the election being stolen with the help of the voting systems company. Joe Biden won the popular and electoral vote over Donald Trump. Trump and his allies continue to claim that he is the actual winner.
Dominion filed the suit in Delaware, a state known for its corporate law expertise in both Superior and Chancery courts.
The company is seeking $1.6 billion in damages.
The ruling did not grant summary judgments that would have either ordered Fox to pay the $1.6 billion or dismiss the case. Davis said Dominiion’s claim of malice, a key finding in libel cases, would be up to a jury to decide.
Fox had attempted to have the suit thrown out, citing First Amendment protection
The discovery process has produced embarrassing emails from Fox personalities and even Chairman Rupert Murdoch, casting doubt on the claims of guests making the allegations.
The trial would draw intense media attention with Fox executives and perhaps hosts like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson being called to testify. Fox is the most-watched cable network, with a few million viewers.
Some pundits suggest that Fox will attempt to settle out of court to avoid a media spectacle.
Delaware has among the nation’s tightest restrictions on TV coverage, with no cameras allowed and low toleration of courtroom antics.
See a copy of the decision below