South Dakota Judge: No Dismissal of $one.2B ‘Pink Slime’ Defamation Suit

A South Dakota judge has refused to throw out a defamation lawsuit against ABC relevant to its coverage of a meat item named lean, finely textured beef, which critics have dubbed “pink slime.”

Beef Items Inc. sued the tv ne2rk in 2012 looking for $ one.2 billion in damages. Dakota Dunes-primarily based BPI says ABC’s coverage led to the closure of 3 plants and approximately 700 layoffs by misleading shoppers into believing the merchandise is unsafe.

Attorneys for ABC say the ne2rk in each of its broadcasts stated the U.S. Department of Agriculture deemed the merchandise safe to eat. They say BPI might not like the phrase “pink slime,” but like all ground beef, it is pink and has a slimy texture.

In her ruling, Judge Cheryle Gering dismissed some claims but allowed most to go forward. Gering ruled that ABC is not protected towards liability by saying in its news reports that the product is beef, is protected and is nutritious.

Jeffrey W. Schneider, senior vice president of ABC News, noted that the ruling was on a preliminary movement to dismiss, not on the merits of the situation. “We will defend our reporting vigorously on the merits,” Schneider stated in a written statement.

Beef Goods Inc. lawyer Erik Connolly explained the organization is pleased with the ruling.

“We search forward to commencing discovery and in the long run presenting our case to a jury,” Connolly mentioned in a statement.

Lean, finely textured beef is manufactured using a approach in which trimmings left following a cow is butchered are heated, lean meat is separated from unwanted fat and ammonia fuel is utilized to kill bacteria.

Beef Products’ attorneys argued throughout a December hearing that ABC’s statements about the USDA deeming the solution risk-free to eat have been coupled with unfavorable context calling the solution filler or “not meat” and implying that the USDA was not a credible source due to the fact the agency overruled scientists in approving the meals product’s use.

They said the ne2rk meant to injury Beef Products’ reputation and destroy its partnership with its consumers, as BPI was the only producer pointed out in ABC’s series of information reviews.

Attorneys for the ne2rk mentioned it by no means quoted critics saying the solution is unsafe. They explained the term “pink slime” is not incorrect and the firm doesn’t get to pick ABC’s words.

ABC had wanted the situation regarded by the U.S. District Court in Sioux Falls, but federal Judge Karen Schreier in June ordered it back to the state circuit court in Elk Stage.

In addition to ABC, the lawsuit names ABC information anchor Diane Sawyer ABC correspondents Jim Avila and David Kerley Gerald Zirnstein, the U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist who named the merchandise “pink slime” former federal meals scientist Carl Custer and Kit Foshee, a former BPI quality assurance manager who was interviewed by ABC.

An lawyer representing Zirnstein and Custer did not instantly return messages for comment. An lawyer for Foshee stated he has not had a possibility however to fully evaluation the choice.

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