Voting machine company Smartmatic filed a lawsuit against Fox News on Thursday, accusing the network of airing defamatory comments about the company's products and suing for $2.7 billion in damages.
The Wall Street Journal reported the lawsuit was filed in a New York court and focuses on statements made about Smartmatic on Fox News by members of the legal team that filed election challenges on behalf of former President Donald Trump, including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. The lawsuit also highlights comments made by Fox anchors Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo.
This legal action follows notices issued by Smartmatic to Fox News and other media outlets in December accusing them of making "dozens of factually inaccurate statements" as part of a "disinformation campaign" to discredit the results of the election. Smartmatic demanded full retractions of the allegedly defamatory statements.
In an interview with CNN Business, Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said the company had "no choice" but to follow through with a lawsuit.
"The disinformation campaign that was launched against us is an obliterating one. For us, this is existential, and we have to take action," Mugica said.
Smartmatic was swept up in conspiratorial claims made by Powell as part of her failed "Kraken" lawsuit alleging widespread fraud in the 2020 election was organized by foreign governments to steal the election from Trump. At the time, Smartmatic categorically denied the claims Powell and others made, and now accuses Fox News of turning the company into a "villain" to craft a false narrative about Trump's loss.
"They needed a villain," the lawsuit charges. "They needed someone to blame. They needed someone whom they could get others to hate. A story of good versus evil, the type that would incite an angry mob, only works if the storyteller provides the audience with someone who personifies evil."
"Without any true villain, defendants invented one," the lawsuit added. "Defendants decided to make Smartmatic the villain in their story."
In response, a spokesman for Fox News told CNN Business, "FOX News Media is committed to providing the full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear opinion. We are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in court."
Also, Powell was reached for comment and said, "I have not received notice or a copy of this alleged lawsuit. However, your characterization of the claims shows that this is just another political maneuver motivated by the radical left that has no basis in fact or law."
Powell also faces a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, another company she claimed was involved in committing election fraud.