BPI and ABC Settle Pink Slime Case- No Terms Made Public But BPI Says Deal Signals They are Totally VindicatedThu, 29 Jun 2017 05:04:04 CDT
Beef Products Inc. and ABC News announced on Wednesday that the two sides have settled the processor's libel and defamation suit against the network. No terms have been disclosed.
BPI released the following statement on the matter: "We are extraordinarily pleased to have reached a settlement of our lawsuit against ABC and Jim Avila. 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. Through this process, we have again established what we all know to be true about Lean Finely Textured Beef: it is beef, and is safe, wholesome, and nutritious. This agreement provides us with a strong foundation on which to grow the business, while allowing us to remain focused on achieving the vision of the Roth and BPI family."
ABC also released a statement, saying, "ABC has reached an amicable resolution of its dispute with the makers of 'lean finely textured beef.' Throughout this case, we have maintained that our reports accurately presented the facts and views of knowledgeable people about this product. 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.”
BPI was suing the network and Avila, its lead reporter, for defamation in a $1.9 billion case over ABC’s series of reports in spring 2012 that raised questions about LFTB’s suitability for human consumption. Lawyers made their opening arguments less than a month ago in the trial that could have resulted in a verdict of as much as $5.7 billion if BPI had won. The case was being tried in Circuit Court in Elk Point, S.D.
The Sioux City Journal, a local newspaper that covered the trial, wrote "Terms of the settlement are confidential, but judging from the celebratory mood of BPI officials and their lawyers Wednesday morning, one could conclude that terms of the settlement were favorable to the company.
"We are extraordinarily pleased with this settlement," BPI attorney Dan Webb said in a brief statement outside the Union County Courthouse. "I believe we have totally vindicated the product."
To read the article from the Sioux City Journal on the announcement of the deal between the two parties, click here.
The Judge announced from the bench that a deal had been made and that "Neither the court, nor the jury, nor the public will be told the terms of the settlement today. The case is over."
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