SIOUX FALLS, SD – Lawyers for ABC News asked a judge to dismiss a $1 billion product defamation lawsuit filed by Beef Products Inc., according to an Oct. 20 Associated Press report.
BPI filed a defamation lawsuit Sept. 13 against ABC News alleging the network’s news coverage misled consumers to believe the company’s lean finely textured beef (LFTB) was unsafe. The company is seeking more than $1 billion in damages.
In its federal court filing, the broadcaster’s lawyers argued that ABC News did not knowingly disparage LFTB or BPI. The lawyers said that while the term “pink slime” is unflattering, it does not convey false facts about LFTB, according to the AP report. ABC News also argued that BPI cannot claim harm under South Dakota product defamation laws because the state laws only deal with product safety. ABC News never reported that the product was unsafe, lawyers contend.
Lawyers for BPI said they will contest any motion to dismiss the case, according to AP.