(SD)-ABC And BPI Reach Settlement In "Pink Slime" Lawsuit
DAKOTA DUNES, S.D. (AP) - ABC and South Dakota-based BPI - Beef Products Inc - have reached a settlement in BPI's $1.9-billion dollar defamation lawsuit over network news stories 5 years ago on the company's lean, finely textured beef product that critics dubbed "pink slime."
Terms of the agreement are confidential, but ABC spokeswoman Julie Townsend in a statement calls it "an amicable resolution while BPI says it "provides a strong foundation on which to grow the business."
BPI and its family owners say the lawsuit was difficult, but necessary to start rectifying the harm suffered as a result of the ABC reports, including the closure of three plants and layoffs of roughly 700 workers.
The lawsuit called ABC's coverage of the "pink slime" controversy a "disinformation campaign" that misled consumers into believing the product is unsafe, is not beef, and isn't nutritious. Townsend says the network maintains its reports accurately presented the facts and views of knowledgeable people about the product.
The trial for the suit began earlier this month was was expected to last several months.
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