Vote machine maker Dominion is seeking over $1 billion in a lawsuit lodged Friday against Fox News, alleging the network broadcast false claims that its machines were used to rig the 2020 election that Donald Trump lost.
This is the second defamation complaint against the conservative news channel, which was already sued in February for similar reasons by another voting machine company, Smartmatic.
Dominion alleges that Fox began endorsing Trump's false claims the election was rigged in favor of Joe Biden because the channel was losing its audience, which includes many of the ex-president's supporters.
"So Fox set out to lure viewers back -- including president Trump himself -- by intentionally and falsely blaming Dominion for president Trump's loss by rigging the election," the suit argues.
The viral claims saw Dominion pilloried online and in conservative media and forced the company to repeatedly defend its reputation, despite no evidence that its vote tallies were erroneous.
Dozens of state and federal rulings, as well as the US Congress, have rejected such allegations.
Dominion has also sued Trump's lawyer and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, and another lawyer for the former president, Sidney Powell, over the false claims.
In the 139-page complaint filed Friday in the eastern state of Delaware, the company accuses Fox News of spreading "outlandish, defamatory, and far-fetched fictions" about Dominion.
"Fox took a small flame and turned it into a forest fire," alleges the complaint. "As the dominant media company among those viewers dissatisfied with the election results, Fox gave these fictions a prominence they otherwise would never have achieved."
Dominion is claiming more than $1.6 billion in damages, of which it claims $1 billion for the loss of value to the company, and $600 million in lost profits.
In a statement, Fox defended its work on the election.
"Fox News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court," it said.
The channel also noted it aired an interview at the end of November 2020 with Dominion representative Michael Steel in which he explained how the machines work and dismissed allegations of vote-switching as "not physically possible."