How, exactly, does a company win a settlement worth more than three-quarters of a billion dollars and still manage to go belly-up?
It sounds challenging, but the CEO of Dominion Voting Systems says that’s exactly what’s going to happen to his company.
It’s been just over a month since the $787.5 million settlement between Dominion and Fox News was announced only hours before the defamation lawsuit was due to go to trial.
Despite that windfall, Dominion CEO John Poulos told TIME that the bad publicity has damaged the company’s reputation beyond repair.
“It basically put us into a death spiral,” he said of the alleged defamation. “And by accusing us of the greatest American crime in history, it turned us, as one of our customers has described, as the most demonized brand in the United States.”
Dominion had been in business since 2002, but only became a well-known brand nationally in the wake of election-stealing allegations following the 2020 presidential election.
Former President Donald Trump and many in his circle had accused the company of conspiring to throw the election in favor of then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
None of those allegations was ever proved — in fact, few had any evidence whatsoever to support them, which is in large part why Fox was forced to settle for such a large amount.
Nevertheless, Poulos says he expects most — or possibly even all — of the company’s customers not to renew their current contracts as they expire.
“Earlier this year, Shasta County in northern California ended its contract with Dominion despite not having a replacement vendor lined up,” TIME reported.
“It’s just easier for our customers to use something that’s not Dominion,” Poulos said. “We just know that our business ultimately goes to zero.”
“Eventually, I suspect all of our customers will go a different direction,” he added. “It’s just a matter of time.”
Poulos told TIME that “Dominion experienced a spike in death threats” after the Fox settlement was announced, and that he and Dominion were committed to keeping employees safe.
Dominion has another six defamation lawsuits pending, including actions filed against Newsmax and One America News, TIME said. Obviously, however, the company cannot remain solvent forever on the basis of revenue from litigation.
Smartmatic, another electronic voting systems company founded just two years prior to Dominion, has its own defamation suit pending against Fox.
“Fox on-air hosts Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro, and Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell” are also named in the suit, according to the company’s website.
Smartmatic is seeking a whopping $2.7 billion in damages, or almost 3.5 times the amount of Fox’s settlement with Dominion.
The company’s website said Smartmatic was “continuing to analyze our claims against OANN and Newsmax,” and has not ruled out the possibility of lawsuits against those companies as well.
CORRECTION, May 23, 2023: Dominion Voting Systems’ settlement with Fox News was for more than three-quarters of a billion dollars. An earlier version of this article included a different number.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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