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Dan Abrams Discusses Implications Roger Ailes’ Death Could Have on Fox Lawsuits

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The death of Roger Ailes has raised questions about what impact his passing will have on lawsuits against him and 21st Century Fox. LawNewz.com founder Dan Abrams discussed the legal implications of Ailes’ death on Friday’s “Good Morning America.” Abrams said that lawsuits targeting or involving Ailes might now end up being settled out of court, but they don’t have to be. He also pointed out that so far it’s unclear which side will benefit more from these developments. “On the one hand, you could argue that it helps the plaintiffs in these lawsuits because Roger Ailes isn’t there to respond, so you’re only going to hear one side of the story.”

Attorney Douglas Wigdor, who represents 21 current and former Fox employees who are suing Fox News for discrimination, seemed to agree with this assessment. In a statement made just after the announcement of Ailes’ passing, Wigdor said the death of the former CEO “will make it difficult for Fox News to refute the allegations against him.”

Still, Abrams noted, Ailes’ estate could say to plaintiffs, “You shouldn’t be allowed to testify to private conversations if he’s not alive anymore.”

Ailes’ death could also impact different cases in different ways. Some lawsuits aren’t against Ailes, but against Fox, with Ailes just being a witness. His death wouldn’t impact the status of those cases at all, Abrams said. When it comes to the lawsuits targeting Ailes personally, however, his estate will take his place. Any money that an accuser might get from a judgment or settlement would be paid out from the estate. “Anyone suing Roger Ailes, in effect, is now suing his estate.”

[Image via ABC screengrab]

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