BPI accepts settlement in defamation case with ABC
June 28, 2017
by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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Both sides agreed to settle for an undisclosed amount.
ELK POINT, S.D. – On the 18th
day of the $1.9 billion libel and defamation case brought by Beef Products Inc. (BPI) against ABC News and Jim Avila over the coverage the news outlet broadcast about the processing company’s production of what ABC referred to as “pink slime,” jurors and observers in the court were told the case had been settled. According to a Sioux City Journal
report on June 28, Circuit Judge Cheryle Gering announced the case had been settled the morning of June 28. On June 27, just after convening in the morning, the court was sent home after being told a “major legal issue” had come up.
“The case is over,” Gering said on June 28, according to the report.
BPI issued a statement confirming the case had been settled for an undisclosed amount.
According to a statement from the Dakota Dunes, SD-based BPI and the Eldon Roth family: "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.”
Outside the courthouse in Union County, BPI attorney Dan Webb said his team is “extraordinarily pleased with the outcome of the case, and reiterated as he had throughout the trial that Lean Finely Textured Beef is safe.
“I believe we have totally vindicated the product,” Webb said.
BPI’s statement indicated the settlement is substantial enough for the family’s business to resume.
“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’s correspondent Webb also made a short statement after the announcement, saying he stood behind his reporting. “It’s important to note we’re not retracting anything or apologizing for anything,” he said in the SCJ report.