Category 3 – Voting Machine Controversies:

Five Defamation Lawsuits Filed by Voting Machine Manufacturers

  1. Dominion v. Sidney Powell (1/8/2021)
  2. Dominion v. Rudy Giuliani (1/25/2021)
  3. Smartmatic v. Fox Corporation, Fox News Network LLC, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, Rudolph Giuliani, and Sidney Powell (2/4/2021)
  4. Dominion v. Mike Lindell (2/22/2021)
  5. Dominion v. Fox News Networks, LLC (3/26/2021)

Given our limited resources, we might not update the information below (last updated June 4, 2021). However, the information in the complaints should make following the litigation relatively easy. We have added additional context below the chart.

1. Dominion v. Sidney Powell, et al.
A.
Initial Complaint
B.
Initial Response
C.
Current Status
The initial complaint was filed on 1/8/2021 by Dominion Voting Systems against the defendant Sidney Powell and others in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Summary from the Initial Complaint
“During a Washington, D.C. press conference, a Georgia political rally, and a media blitz, Powell falsely claimed that Dominion had rigged the election, that Dominion was created in Venezuela to rig elections for Hugo Chávez, and that Dominion bribed Georgia officials for a no-bid contract… Powell’s wild accusations are demonstrably false.”

Source: Initial Complaint


Complaint
1. Count One - Defamation Per Se
2. Count Two - Deceptive Trade Practices

Harm Alleged
“Dominion employees have been stalked, have been harassed, and have received death threats; Dominion has been forced to make an expenditure of money to remedy the defamation [more than $1,170,000] and to protect the lives of its employees [$565,000]; Dominion has lost profits [projected $200 million over the next five years]; and Dominion’s reputation has been irreparably damaged.”

Source: Initial Complaint


Damages
Dominion asked for compensatory damages of not less than $651,735,000 and punitive damages of not less than $651,735,000.
The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the initial complaint on 3/22/2021. (The judge granted a motion for extension of time to answer on 2/10/2021.)

Summary
Lawyers for Powell filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction or improper venue, or for failure to state a claim. Otherwise, they asked to transfer the case to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, where Powell lives.

The motion stated that “no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact… it was clear to reasonable persons that Powell’s claims were her opinions and legal theories on a matter of utmost public concern.”

Source: Motion to Dismiss Initial Complaint

As far as we know, the case was still being litigated as of 6/4/2021.
2. Dominion v. Rudy Giuliani
A.
Initial Complaint
B.
Initial Response
C.
Current Status
The initial complaint was filed on 1/25/2021 by Dominion Voting Systems against the defendant Rudy Giuliani in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Summary from the Initial Complaint
“Although he was unwilling to make false election fraud claims about Dominion and its voting machines in a court of law because he knew those allegations are false, he and his allies manufactured and disseminated the ‘Big Lie,’ which foreseeably went viral and deceived millions of people into believing that Dominion had stolen their votes and fixed the election…

Acting in concert with allies and media outlets that were determined to promote a false preconceived narrative about the 2020 election, Giuliani launched a viral disinformation campaign about Dominion that reached millions of people and caused enormous harm to Dominion.”

Source: Initial Complaint


Complaint
1. Count One - Defamation Per Se

Harm Alleged
“Dominion employees have been stalked, have been harassed, and have received death threats; Dominion has been forced to make an expenditure of money to remedy the defamation [more than $1,170,000] and to protect the lives of its employees [more than $565,000]; Dominion has lost profits [estimated $200 million over the next five years]; and Dominion’s reputation has been irreparably damaged.”

Source: Initial Complaint


Damages
Dominion asked for compensatory damages of not less than $651,735,000 and punitive damages of not less than $651,735,000.
The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the original complaint on 4/7/2021. (The judge granted a motion for extension of time to answer on 3/9/2021.)

Summary
“Giuliani denies that he has defamed Plaintiffs or that he has engaged in any wrongful or malicious conduct toward Plaintiffs… However… because Plaintiffs have not sufficiently pleaded subject matter jurisdiction, have failed to state a claim, and have failed to properly and adequately plead special damages, the Complaint must be dismissed.”

Source: Motion to Dismiss Original Complaint

As far as we know, the case was still being litigated as of 6/4/2021.
3. Smartmatic v. Fox Corporation, Fox News Network LLC, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, Rudolph Giuliani, and Sidney Powell
A.
Initial Complaint
B.
Initial Response
C.
Current Status
The initial complaint was filed on 2/4/2021 by Smartmatic against the defendants Fox Corporation, Fox News Network LLC, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, Rudolph Giuliani, and Sidney Powell in the New York State Court in Manhattan.

Summary from the Initial Complaint
According to the complaint, the defendants falsely claimed that “Smartmatic was a Venezuelan company under the control of corrupt dictators from socialist countries,” that the Smartmatic “election technology and software were used in many of the states with close outcomes,” and that “Smartmatic was responsible for stealing the 2020 election by switching and altering votes to rig the election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”

Smartmatic identified 13 reports broadcast by Fox News in November and December 2020 alleging that Smartmatic had contributed to rigging or stealing the 2020 election. The stories were repeated in Fox News online articles and social media posts.

Source: Initial Complaint


Causes of Action
The complaint lists nine causes of action related to defamation for false statements and implications, and seven causes of action related to disparagement for false statements and implications.

Harm Alleged
“Millions of individuals who saw and read Defendants’ reports believed them to be true. Smartmatic and its officers began to receive hate mail and death threats. Smartmatic’s clients and potential clients began to panic. The company’s reputation for providing transparent, auditable, and secure election technology and software was irreparably harmed. Overnight, Smartmatic went from an under-the-radar election technology and software company with a track record of success to the villain in Defendants’ disinformation campaign.”

Source: Initial Complaint


Damages
Smartmatic asked for actual, consequential and special damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but no less than $ 2.7 billion, as well as compensatory and punitive damages.
Fox Corporation and Fox News Network, LLC, filed a motion to dismiss the original complaint on 2/8/2021.

Summary
Lawyers for Fox Corporation and Fox News Network, LLC, filed a motion to dismiss because “core First Amendment principles, together with New York’s anti-SLAPP [strategic lawsuits against public participation] law, compel the conclusion that Smartmatic’s claims against Fox must be dismissed.”

The motion stated that “a reasonable viewer would readily have understood that Fox was not covering those allegations because it was confident they were true; it was covering them because it was confident they were newsworthy—as was virtually every other press outlet in the country.”

Source: Motion to Dismiss Initial Complaint


Motions to Dismiss from Other Defendants:
1. Maria Bartiromo - 2/11/2021
2. Lou Dobbs - 2/11/2021
3. Jeanine Pirro - 2/11/2021
As far as we know, the case was still being litigated as of 6/4/2021.
4. Dominion v. My Pillow and Mike Lindell
A.
Initial Complaint
B.
Initial Response
C.
Current Status
The initial complaint was filed on 2/22/2021 by Dominion Voting Systems against the defendants My Pillow, Inc. and Mike Lindell in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Summary from the Initial Complaint
“Acting in concert with allies and media outlets that were determined to curry favor with one of their biggest sponsors and to promote a false preconceived narrative about the 2020 election, Lindell launched a defamatory marketing campaign about Dominion that reached millions of people and caused enormous harm to Dominion…

Lindell’s false and defamatory statements… constitute deceptive trade practices in violation of Minnesota law, M.S.A. Sec. 325D.44(8), as they disparage Dominion’s goods and services by false and misleading representations of fact.”

Source: Initial Complaint


Complaint
1. Count One – Defamation Per Se
2. Count Two – Deceptive Trade Practices

Harm Alleged
“Dominion employees have been stalked, have been harassed, and have received death threats; Dominion has been forced to make an expenditure of money to remedy the defamation [more than $1,170,000] and to protect the lives of its employees [more than $565,000]; Dominion has lost profits [projected $200 million over the next five years] ; and Dominion’s reputation has been irreparably damaged.”

Source: Initial Complaint


Damages
Dominion requested an award of not less than $1,303,470,000: compensatory damages of not less than $651,735,000 and punitive damages of not less than $651,735,000.
My Pillow, Inc. filed a motion to dismiss the initial complaint on 4/19/2021.

Summary
My Pillow filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, lack of personal jurisdiction, and improper venue (the motion states that Minnesota would be the proper venue, not DC). The motion said, "Plaintiffs have failed to identify any conduct of MyPillow that caused any injury to Dominion. Even if Mr. Lindell’s personal political commentary can be attributed to MyPillow, Dominion still cannot show that it has sustained any damage in the District of Columbia.”

Source: Motion to Dismiss Initial Complaint


Mike Lindell filed a motion to dismiss the initial complaint on 4/23/2021.

Summary
“Dominion’s lawsuit is an affront to the First Amendment and is nothing more than a media- driven ploy to discredit or silence anyone who exposes Dominion’s voting systems as the hackable and exploitable threat to American democracy that they are… Dominion has not met its burden to plausibly plead that Lindell knew his statements were false or that Lindell harbored substantial doubt as to the truth of his statements. Dominion has failed to adequately plead actual malice by Lindell because it cannot.”

Source: Motion to Dismiss Initial Complaint

As far as we know, the case was still being litigated as of 6/4/2021.

[Note: My Pillow filed a countersuit against Dominion on 4/19/2021 and Mike Lindell filed a countersuit against Dominion on 6/3/2021.]
5. Dominion v. Fox News Networks, LLC
A.
Initial Complaint
B.
Initial Response
C.
Current Status
The initial complaint was filed on 3/26/2021 by Dominion Voting Systems against the defendant Fox News Networks, LLC, in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware.

Summary from the Initial Complaint
“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… These outlandish, defamatory, and far-fetched fictions included Fox falsely claiming that: (1) Dominion committed election fraud by rigging the 2020 Presidential Election; (2) Dominion’s software and algorithms manipulated vote counts in the 2020 Presidential Election; (3) Dominion is owned by a company founded in Venezuela to rig elections for the dictator Hugo Chávez; and (4) Dominion paid kickbacks to government officials who used its machines in the 2020 Presidential Election.”

Source: Initial Complaint


Complaint
1. Count One – Defamation Per Se

Harm Alleged
“Fox’s viral disinformation campaign about Dominion reached over a billion people worldwide… Dominion employees have been stalked, have been harassed, and have received death threats; Dominion has been forced to make an expenditure of money to remedy the defamation and to protect the lives of its employees; Dominion has lost profits; and Dominion’s enterprise value has been irreparably damaged.”

Source: Initial Complaint


Damages
Dominion requested compensatory and punitive damages in amount to be determined at trial, and damages for (1) lost profits of not less than $600,000,000; (2) lost enterprise value of not less than $1,000,000,000; (3) security expenses of not less than $600,000; and (4) expenses incurred combatting the disinformation campaign of not less than $700,000.
The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the initial complaint on 5/18/2021.

Summary
“First, Dominion has alleged no actionable defamation by Fox. A series of First Amendment and New York free-speech doctrines each independently protect media reporting and commentary on newsworthy allegations of public concern made by the President and his legal team…

Second, Dominion fails to plead facts alleging that Fox published the challenged speech with actual malice—that is, with knowledge or reckless disregard of its falsity and that the person responsible for telecasting the speech in fact entertained serious doubts about its truth.”

Source: Motion to Dismiss Initial Complaint

As far as we know, the case was still being litigated as of 6/4/2021.

Eight voting machine companies are registered with the Federal US Election Assistance Commission, but about 90% of voting machines used in US elections are made by just three of those companies: Election Software & Systems (ES&S), Dominion Voting Systems, and Hart InterCivic.[1]Madeline Berg, “This Foreign Voting Machine Company Wants To Take Over America – If It Can Get Through Fox News,” forbes.com, April 7, 2021

In the 2020 election, Dominion Voting Systems products were used in an estimated 24 states, while Smartmatic was only used in California’s Los Angeles County. [2]Verified Voting, “The Verifier — Search — November 2020,” verifiedvoting.org (accessed May 26, 2021) We have not found any explanation for why Dominion and Smartmatic were targeted by claims of fraud while other voting machine companies were not mentioned by name.

Both Dominion and Smartmatic have denied all accusations of fraud. They have also refuted specific allegations, such as claims that the two companies share ownership or software, and that the machines were created in Venezuela at the direction of the late dictator Hugo Chavez. The Associated Press and Reuters, among other sources, found no evidence that Dominion had any ties Smartmatic [3]Reuters Staff, “Fact check: Dominion is not linked to Antifa or Venezuela, did not switch U.S. 2020 election votes in Virginia and was not subject to a U.S. army raid in Germany,” reuters.com, … Continue reading or Venezuela[4]Ali Swenson, “Smartmatic does not own Dominion Voting Systems,” apnews.com, November 17, 2020.

Retraction Demands

Starting on December 17, 2020,[5]Dominion, “Dominion Demands Retraction of Sidney Powell’s Defamatory Falsehoods,” dominionvoting.com, December 17, 2020 about six weeks after the November 3, 2020 presidential election, Dominion sent more than 150 retraction and/or record preservation demand letters to people and companies that had accused them of election fraud. Recipients included attorneys Rudy Giuliani, Sydney Powell, and Lin Wood; MyPillow founder Mike Lindell; Newsmax and Fox hosts Greg Kelly, Sean Hannity, and Maria Bartiromo; and media companies Fox News, One America News, Newsmax, and The American Thinker.[6]Matt Naham, “Lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems Sent 21 Retraction or Record Preservation Demand Letters This Week — Read Them All Here,” lawandcrime.com, December 24, 2020

On December 14, 2020, Smartmatic issued legal notices and retraction demand letters to Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network for publishing false and defamatory statements.[7]Smartmatic, “Smartmatic Demands Justice for Defamation,” smartmatic.com, December 14, 2020

Fox News aired a segment that debunked conspiracy theories about Smartmatic on Fox Business host Lou Dobbs’ show on December 18, 2020. The same fact check then aired on December 19 on Jeanine Pirro’s show and on December 20 on Maria Bartiromo’s show. [8]Josh Feldman, “Lou Dobbs Airs Stunning Fact-Check of His Own Election Conspiracies After Company Threatens Legal Action,” mediaite.com, December 18, 2020

Newsmax published an article on December 19, 2020, and aired a segment on December 21, 2020, negating some of the false claims they had aired about Dominion and Smartmatic.

The American Thinker published a retraction and apology to Dominion on January 15, 2021.

References

References
1 Madeline Berg, “This Foreign Voting Machine Company Wants To Take Over America – If It Can Get Through Fox News,” forbes.com, April 7, 2021
2 Verified Voting, “The Verifier — Search — November 2020,” verifiedvoting.org (accessed May 26, 2021)
3 Reuters Staff, “Fact check: Dominion is not linked to Antifa or Venezuela, did not switch U.S. 2020 election votes in Virginia and was not subject to a U.S. army raid in Germany,” reuters.com, November 26, 2020
4 Ali Swenson, “Smartmatic does not own Dominion Voting Systems,” apnews.com, November 17, 2020
5 Dominion, “Dominion Demands Retraction of Sidney Powell’s Defamatory Falsehoods,” dominionvoting.com, December 17, 2020
6 Matt Naham, “Lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems Sent 21 Retraction or Record Preservation Demand Letters This Week — Read Them All Here,” lawandcrime.com, December 24, 2020
7 Smartmatic, “Smartmatic Demands Justice for Defamation,” smartmatic.com, December 14, 2020
8 Josh Feldman, “Lou Dobbs Airs Stunning Fact-Check of His Own Election Conspiracies After Company Threatens Legal Action,” mediaite.com, December 18, 2020