Well, that’s a damn shame. Case is settled for $700 million or so and an apology. My first thought is that I really, really hope that Dominion’s counsel had this on contingency, though I doubt that. Second, I was a bit concerned as to how a company was going to show 1.8 Billion in damages and get a jury to bite on that number. Third, 700 million is near about 1/3 of the demanded amount which sounds about right to me in your average personal injury case. I would guess that plaintiffs wanted a nice round $1 Billion, but negotiations probably revealed that as a non-starter.
Another interesting consideration of this is whether there was insurance coverage for this. There is no coverage for intentional torts, but some media outlets are reporting that insurance will cover some or all of this. It makes for an interesting armchair quarterbacking. If there is insurance money to pay for this, then the insurer will control the negotiations to some extent as it is their money and there are more suits that will need settlements. Rupert Murdoch may be a difficult client to deal with with a lot of business with the insurer. However, it would be unusual that Fox/Rupert get to dictate how an insurer settles its cases.
Assuming that there was insurance, that tells you that the insurer believed that the case would be lost for something between $500 Million and $1 Billion. Those are big numbers for an insurer and a big black eye for FOX.
This case went really up to the Courthouse steps, but really was one that was ripe for settlement. The downside risk to Dominion was that a jury would agree and award $100 Million and $300 Million for punitives and they could get a settlement for $500 Million or more.
So, if you turn down $500 Million and a jury gives you $400 Million, the one who looks really bad is…………..the trial lawyer. So, it seems like Fox got its comeuppance for eating off the Trump gravy train. Weirdly, Trump seems to meander on in life without being held to account.