Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis announced late on Sunday that the start of the Fox News-Dominion defamation trial — which was scheduled to begin on Monday in Wilmington — would be delayed by one additional day.
“The Court has decided to continue the start of the trial, including jury selection, until Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. I will make such an announcement tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom 7E,” Davis said in a statement released Sunday evening.
The court did not give any details explaining why the trial was being delayed, but the decision came just after a report from The Wall Street Journal stated the network might be looking to make a last-minute settlement. Previous attempts to settle the case had been unsuccessful.
The Washington Post published a report on Sunday suggesting that might be the direction things were headed, noting that the delay appeared to be a move designed “to allow both parties to hold conversations about the possibility of a settlement.”
Dominion Voting Systems has alleged that Fox News allowed anchors to perpetuate claims that they helped to rig the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in President Joe Biden’s favor — and is seeking $1.6 billion in damages from the network, claiming that executives allowed anchors to continue making the claims even when they knew them to be false.
If the case does proceed as planned beginning on Tuesday the proceedings are expected to last approximately six weeks — and the outcome could have significant impact on the way the general public views media.
Victoria Baranetsky, general counsel at the Center for Investigative Reporting, explained: “In some ways, it’s just another piece of litigation for a large dollar amount, but it’s also unlike any case you’ve seen before, weighing the future of Fox News, what’s permissible for what a reporter can trust, and the future of faith in the media. In those ways, the stakes are high.”