A Manhattan federal appeal court reinstated a lawsuit against Fox News by Seth Rich’s family, allowing his parents to sue for emotional distress caused by a now-retracted May 2017 article essentially alleging their son was murdered for leaking DNC emails to WikiLeaks.
D.C. police consider Rich’s July 2016 murder to have been a botched robbery, and there has been no credible evidence linking his death to the DNC leaks. Fox News retracted the article after much outrage, saying it fell short of company standards, all while network stars, including primetime star Sean Hannity, boosted the claim on-air.
Rich’s family claim the Fox article caused them post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety. A lower-court judge last year dismissed their initial lawsuit, saying the claims were not “sufficiently outrageous”—but Friday’s federal court action gives them another chance.
“The court’s ruling today permits Mr. and Mrs. Rich to proceed with discovery to determine whether there is a factual basis for their claims against FOX News,” the network said in a statement. “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.”