A Fox Corp. shareholder sued Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch and several members of the Fox Corp. board of directors in Delaware on Tuesday afternoon, arguing that they violated their fiduciary duty to the company when they allowed Fox News to broadcast election conspiracy theories.
The derivative action — a kind of lawsuit brought by shareholders who believe they’ve been harmed by the corporation — was brought by a single plaintiff, Robert Schwarz.
“The Board’s decision to chase viewers by promoting the false stolen election claims has exposed the Company to public ridicule and negatively impacted the credibility of Fox News as a media organization that is supposed to accurately report newsworthy events. The Company is now the subject of two defamation cases, with combined damages claimed to exceed $4 billion,” the lawsuit alleges.
The suit builds on the trove of internal communications, documents and evidence made public in Dominion Voting Systems' sweeping $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News and Fox Corp., which has revealed that many at Fox News knew the rigged election claims were false even as they allowed their continued broadcast.
“FOX knew — from the Board on down — that Fox News was reporting false and dangerous misinformation about the 2020 Presidential election, but FOX was more concerned about short-term ratings and market share than the long-term damages of its failure to tell the truth,” the filing continues.
Lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems have argued in their court filings that Fox executives elevated election conspiracy theories because they feared they were losing their audience after Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential election loss.
Judge allows Dominion's defamation case to go to trialMarch 31, 202302:38
Fox News has denied that it defamed Dominion Voting Systems, arguing that its broadcasts and social media posts are protected by the First Amendment.
Schwarz’s attorneys declined to comment in an email. Fox News and Fox Corp. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bloomberg Law reported recently that several firms are eying derivative action against Fox Corp. board members.