Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Settlement reached in 'pink slime' defamation lawsuit

Settlement reached in 'pink slime' defamation lawsuit

The South Dakota-based BPI sued ABC for more than $1 billion over reports that originally aired in 2012, alleging that the coverage severely hurt its business.

Privately-held BPI had claimed that ABC, a unit of Walt Disney Co DIS.N , and Avila defamed the company by calling its processed beef product "pink slime" and making errors and omissions in a series of 2012 reports.

ABC News has reached a settlement with a South Dakota meat producer that filed a $1.9 billion lawsuit against the network over its reports on the company's lean, finely textured beef product that critics dubbed "pink slime", the TV network said Wednesday.

ABC's lead attorney Dane Butswinkas, told KTIV, he is pleased with the settlement and is happy to spend time with his family. LFTB is a commonly used ingredient in beef products and is safe to eat, which ABC noted in its report.

The trial began on June 5, and the case was seen as having large potential ramifications for the media industry and for ABC.

'Although we have concluded that continued litigation of this case is not in the Company's interests, we remain committed to the vigorous pursuit of truth and the consumer's right to know about the products they purchase, ' Townsend said. However, even with assurances that the ingredient, which is made from the trimmings of a cow and treated with ammonia to kill bacteria, wasn't unsafe, the phrase "pink slime" allegedly turned off customers. BPI and its family owners say that the lawsuit was hard, but necessary to start rectifying the harm suffered as a result of ABC's reports on their product, which critics dubbed "pink slime".

Dane Butswinkas, an attorney for ABC and Avila, did not immediately respond to request for comment.

BPI said it had to close three plants and lay off 700 workers due to "pink slime" backlash.

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