Judge dismisses lawsuits against Fox News for Seth Rich story
By REBECCA MORIN
08/02/2018 04:49 PM EDT
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Seth Rich's parents filed the lawsuit earlier this year over a report published by Fox News in May 2017 suggesting federal investigators had evidence that their son leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks weeks before he was shot. | Richard Drew/AP Photo
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed two separate lawsuits against Fox News over its coverage of Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staff member who was murdered in July 2016, ruling that the suits failed to state a claim.
The legal actions were filed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. One, filed by Rich's parents, claimed that Fox News intentionally tried to inflict emotional distress. The other was filed by a private detective, Rod Wheeler, alleging defamation.
"Each of Plaintiffs' claims fail to adequately allege essential elements of the causes of action asserted," Judge George B. Daniels wrote in his ruling on the Riches' lawsuit. "Accordingly, Plaintiffs' complaint is dismissed in its entirety."
Joel and Mary Rich, the parents of Seth Rich, filed the lawsuit earlier this year over a report published by Fox News in May 2017 suggesting federal investigators had evidence that their son leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks weeks before he was shot in Washington's Bloomingdale neighborhood.
Wheeler also filed a suit over the Fox News story, which used Wheeler's comments that Seth Rich's death was linked to WikiLeaks' release of DNC emails.
Fox News later retracted the article.
The report, however, prompted a number of conspiracy theories because it contradicted assessments by the U.S. intelligence community that Russia was behind the hacking at the DNC.
The Riches' lawsuit also accused the network, along with reporter Malia Zimmerman and Dallas businessman and Fox News guest Ed Butowsky, of using Rich's death to discount allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump and the Russian government during the 2016 election.
See Also —
The Mysterious Death Of Seth Rich (July 10, 2016)
DNC Affiliates Increase Involvement In Seth Rich Case After Wheeler Claims
#SethRich COMPLETE TIMELINE - All The Facts In One Place