NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News An attempt to shutdown the system Tuesday was unsuccessful multibillion-dollar defamation lawsuit The network is accused of spreading lies about a voting technology company. “steal” Donald Trump, then-President of the United States, won the 2020 election.

New York’s Supreme Court Appellate Division, a mid-level appeals court, ruled against the network, which wanted judges to dismiss the $2.7 billion defamation case.

Smartmatic, which was the party that filed the case, stated it played a small but valid role in the election. It welcomed the decision as a first step in holding Fox News accountable for amplifying unsupported and damaging claims from Trump’s lawyers.

Fox News The case was presented as an attempt at chilling journalism and expressed confidence that the network would win the end.

Smartmatic claims that the conservative network spread lies to benefit itself “steal” Donald Trump will be the next president.

Tuesday’s decision means Smartmatic’s suit continues against Fox NewsMaria Bartiromo hosts and Jeanine Pirro former host Lou Dobbs and Rudy Giuliani, Trump lawyer. A claim against Trump lawyer Sidney Powell was dismissed earlier because she doesn’t have ties to New York, where the case was filed.

According to the five-judge verdict, there weren’t “significant allegations” Powell and Giuliani defamed company.

“The complaint alleges in detailed fashion that in their coverage and commentary, Fox News, Dobbs, and Bartiromo effectively endorsed and participated in the statements with reckless disregard for, or serious doubts about” Five judges unanimously ruled that there was no reliable evidence in support of their claims. Citing “the same reasoning,” they also reinstated Smartmatic’s claims against Pirro, which a lower court had thrown out.

Federal and state election officialsComprehensive reviews of battleground states Trump’s own attorney general Found no widespread fraud This could have affected the outcome of 2020’s election. They also failed to find any evidence of vote tampering. Trump’s allegations of fraud also were roundly rejected by dozens of courts, including by judges whom he had appointed.

It is as follows: Fox News Fighting a separate, $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit from Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, The trial will take place in April. This network is also fighting lawsuit from a Venezuelan businessman According to him, he was falsely accused of trying corrupt the election.

Florida-based Smartmatic said that in the 2020 presidential election, its technology and software were used only in California’s Los Angeles County. According to expectations, Joe Biden was elected Democratic nominee.

Smartmatic, however, disagrees Fox News and the three hosts repeatedly allowed Trump’s lawyers to falsely portray Smartmatic as a foreign company involved in a sprawling, multi-state operation to “flip” Vote for Biden by the Republican incumbent

Giuliani claimed that his company was a victim of elitism during a series post-Election Day appearances “formed in order to fix elections.” Powell described it as a “huge criminal conspiracy,” They claimed proof was forthcoming.

After Smartmatic’s lawyers demanded a retraction, Fox News aired an interview with an election technology expert who said there was no evidence that the company’s technology had monkeyed with the election results. Powell had made several claims about him.

“Fox News, its news anchors and guests knowingly and falsely published lies,” J. Erik Connolly, Smartmatic’s lawyer, stated this in a Tuesday statement. The company maintains that the network can’t claim free speech protections for its conduct.

Fox News It can argue that it does, as it informed the public of newsworthy and controversial claims made by an important person about a topic of public concern.

“There is nothing more newsworthy than covering the president of the United States and his lawyers making allegations of voter fraud,” According to the network, it added that it believed it would be vindicated. Fox News Also known as the damage claim “outrageous” And “nothing more than a flagrant attempt to deter our journalists from doing their jobs.”

A message seeking comment on Tuesday’s ruling was sent to Giuliani’s lawyers. They have said Giuliani’s statements were protected by the First Amendment and other laws and principles.

Randall Chase was a writer for the Associated Press. He is based in Dover, Delaware.