Fox News in big trouble over false claims: 'That's why you have defamation lawsuits'
Fox News personality Jeanine Pirro (screengrab)

The $2.7-billion defamation lawsuit filed by a voting machine company against Fox News, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell is anything but frivolous, according to legal experts.

The conservative broadcaster and three of its hosts -- Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro -- were sued along with two of former president Donald Trump's legal representatives for making knowingly false statements about Smartmatic and its products in a case that legal experts say meets the textbook definition of defamation, reported CNN.

"The profusion of defamation circumstances associated to the previous president was notable," said attorney Roberta Kaplan, who is representing author E. Jean Carroll in her rape lawsuit against Trump. "What's changed, and why we're seeing so many more defamation cases today than ever before, is because, frankly, we're living in a world in which people with legitimacy and authority seem to feel no compunction whatsoever about just telling outright lies."

Smartmatic CEO and founder Antonio Mugica said the company had "no choice" but to sue the former president's lawyers and TV allies for spreading false claims about their operations.

"The disinformation campaign that was launched against us is an obliterating one," Mugica said. "For us, this is existential, and we have to take action."

Journalists and media companies enjoy fairly broad protections against slander and libel claims, but legal experts say Smartmatic's case against Fox News is strong.

"When you are making statements that are knowingly false, and you make them with malice, and you actually tarnish reputations and it has a financial consequence — that's why you have defamation lawsuits in the first place," said CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates told Erin Burnett.