Seth Rich’s parents’ lawsuit against Fox News has been reinstated.
Rich, a former Democratic National Committee staffer who was murdered in Washington, D.C. in July 2016, previously sued over a May 2017 Fox News broadcast that Fox News later retracted for not meeting its “high degree of editorial scrutiny.” The Rich family lawsuit was thrown out last year.
In an e-mail to iMediaEthics, a Fox News spokesperson said: “The court’s ruling permits Mr. and Mrs. Rich to proceed with discovery to determine whether there is a factual basis for their claims against FOX News. And while we extend the Rich family our deepest condolences for their loss, we believe that discovery will demonstrate that FOX News did not engage in conduct that will support the Riches’ claims. We will be evaluating our next legal steps.”
The parents of Rich issued a statement to iMediaEthics saying, “We would not wish hat we have experienced upon any other parent – anywhere. We appreciate the appellate court’s ruling and look forward to continuing to pursue justice.”
Their lawyer Lenny Gail of Massey & Gail LLP is quoted as sayingm “This decision now clears the way for a thorough investigation into the facts. We will now obtain documents from Fox News and other parties and take testimony under oath from those involved.”
The family is suing over Fox News’ false claims that Rich leaked Democratic National Committee e-mails to WikiLeaks, which led to his murder. Fox News retracted the story in May 2017. As iMediaEthics reported at the time:
Fox News’ story claimed there was evidence Rich had been in touch with WikiLeaks. However, the network’s claims were attributed to Rich family private investigator Rod Wheeler and an anonymous “federal source.” Problem is, as Wheeler told CNN, he didn’t have any evidence of such a claim. In fact, he said the Fox News’ reporter provided him with the information.
The decision to reinstate the lawsuit came in a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The Richs are suing for intentional infliction of emotional distress, tortious interference with contract, and negligent supervision.
In June, Red State deleted an opinion piece that it admitted “encourages conspirational speculation without basis in fact.” In March, InfoWars and Jerome Corsi apologized and retracted false claims that Rich leaked Democratic National Committee e-mails to WikiLeaks before his death. Last year the Washington Times retracted an op-ed about Rich.