DAKOTA DUNES, SD – WOWT television reports that federal judge Lawrence Piersol, who was overseeing a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit filed by a Beef Products Inc. against ABC News, has recused himself from the case that is being heard in US District Court for the District of South Dakota. This case has been reassigned to Chief Judge Karen Schreier.

In September, Dakota Dunes, SD-based Beef Products Inc. sued ABC News Inc. for defamation regarding its coverage of its lean, finely textured beef that critics dubbed "pink slime." BPI claims ABC News damaged the company by misleading consumers into believing the product is unhealthy and unsafe.