The trial in the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox Corp and Fox News will proceed with jury selection resuming on Tuesday rather than on Monday as previously scheduled, a judge said on Monday.
Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis did not provide a reason for the delay in the trial, stemming from Fox’s airing of false claims that the Denver-based company’s machines were used to rig the 2020 U.S. presidential election in favor of Democrat Joe Biden over Republican-then President Donald Trump.
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday that Fox had been pursuing a possible settlement. The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal also reported that Fox was pursuing settlement talks, citing sources.
After jury selection, which began last week, is completed on Tuesday, opening statements to the 12-member panel would then be scheduled to take place on Tuesday, the judge said.
Dominion sued Fox Corp and Fox News. The trial is one of the most closely watched U.S. defamation cases in years, involving a leading cable news outlet with numerous conservative commentators. The primary question for jurors is whether Fox knowingly spread false information or recklessly disregarded the truth, the standard of “actual malice” that Dominion must show to prevail in a defamation case.
Rupert Murdoch, the chair of Fox Corp, is set to testify during the trial, along with a parade of Fox executives and on-air hosts, including Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro.
The trial is considered a test of whether Fox’s coverage crossed the line between ethical journalism and the pursuit of ratings, as Dominion alleges and Fox denies.