Seth Rich
(L) Mary Rich and her husband, Joel Rich, hold a photo of their son in their home in Omaha, Nebraska, Jan. 11, 2017. Seth Rich, a 27-year-old staffer for the Democratic National Committee, was killed in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2016. Matt Miller for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Another year, another lawsuit for Fox News. The media organization was sued by the family of Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer who was killed in 2016. This is the second lawsuit in conjunction to a May 15 2017 article by Fox News — that was later retracted — which fuelled conspiracy theories that Rich was murdered in connection with a massive WikiLeaks data expose of 20,000 DNC emails.

According to ABC News, the lawsuit filed Tuesday by Rich’s parents — Joel and Mary Rich, specifically named Fox News investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman and Fox News guest Ed Butowsky. The lawsuit claimed Zimmerman and Butowsky reached out to the family under false pretenses to concoct a story about Rich’s involvement in the DNC email leaks.

Leonard A. Gail of Massey & Gail LLP, a lawyer representing the Riches, said: “Joel and Mary Rich have brought this case to hold Fox News, Fox reporter Zimmerman, and political operative and Fox News contributor Butowsky, accountable for their reprehensible actions. Whether motivated by party politics, ratings, corporate profit, or personal gain, we hope to help prevent this kind of malicious and reckless behavior in the future so that others can be spared the hell the Riches have had to endure."

Fox News told International Business Times that Butowsky was only a guest and never a contributor.

According to the lawsuit, both Zimmerman and Butowsky inflicted harm by falsifying facts and provided a stage to support the claims made in the “sham story.” It said the defendants "aided and abetted the intentional infliction of emotional distress."

“No parent should ever have to live through what we have been forced to endure. The pain and anguish that comes from seeing your murdered son’s life and legacy treated as a mere political football is beyond comprehension” Joel and Mary Rich said in a joint statement.

Mary Rich
Mary Rich, the mother of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich, gives a press conference in Bloomingdale, Aug. 1, 2016. Seth Rich was gunned down in the DC neighborhood on July 10, 2016. . (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The lawsuit reverberates the claims made in an earlier lawsuit in 2017, filed by former Fox commentator Rod Wheeler who had worked with the media organization since 2002. Wheeler was the only named source in the article that spurred conspiracy theories on the death of Seth Rich. The quotes implied Rich communicated with the WikiLeaks prior to his death.

Fox News retracted the article a week later citing failure to employ “the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting."

The lawsuit filed by Wheeler claimed that both Butowsky and Zimmerman employed a bait and switch method, by fabricating quotes, to take the scrutiny off the Russian investigation by helping President Donald Trump “create fake news.”

"Mr. Wheeler was subsequently forced to correct the false record and, as a result, lost all credibility in the eyes of the public. Mr. Wheeler has suffered irreparable damage to his reputation and his career will likely never recover," the lawsuit said.

In a recent interview with ABC News, Butowsky denied any credibility to the lawsuit filed by the Riches. He added he’s reached out to the family several times to explain his version of the truth.

He said, “Nobody’s benefited from anything, to file a lawsuit to say that anybody has benefited just smells weird.”