Settlement reached in 'pink slime' defamation lawsuit

ABC: Settlement reached in 'pink slime' defamation lawsuit

ABC said it reached a settlement in a closely scrutinized lawsuit filed against it by a South Dakota meat producer over ABC News reports that led to critics labeling one of the company's products "pink slime". BPI attorney Dan Webb told Reuters the settlement came together "quickly this week", but declined to provide details, citing a confidentiality agreement signed by both parties.The settlement came 3-1/2 weeks after the trial in the case got under way in Elk Point, South Dakota. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.

ABC said Wednesday it has reached an "amicable" settlement to end a defamation suit over its reports that called Beef Products Inc.'s beef trimmings "pink slime". "While this has not been an easy road to travel, it was necessary to begin rectifying the harm we suffered as a result of what we believed to be biased and baseless reporting in 2012", Beef Products Inc. said in a statement.

Lean, finely textured beef is made up of the fatty scraps of beef left over after steaks and roasts are cut from cattle carcasses.


BPI could have been seeking damages as high as $1.9 billion, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing from Disney, which owns ABC. ABC News has long said it stood by its reporting. Webb said he believes the plaintiff's evidence was well-received by the jury, and that the trial "vindicated" the lean, finely textured beef product. "I want people to understand that I understand that it was a business decision and I do support my company's decision", said Jim Avila, ABC News Reporter, Defendant.

In a page on its website entitled "Lean Finely Textured Beef - Why it's Good", Beef Products Inc. says the meat product "is a key ingredient to making low fat ground beef or any other food in which lean finely textured beef is an essential ingredient".

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