SEATTLE – Prominent food safety attorney Bill Marler will represent two defendants in a lawsuit launched by Beef Products Inc. (BPI) against them, ABC News and several of broadcast journalists.
“I am proud to represent these two former FSIS employees in this baseless lawsuit that has been filed against them,” said Marler in an emailed response to meatpoultry.com.
Information about Marler's involvement in the case came in an editor's note at the bottom of a post titled "BPI and Pink Slime: An Updated Timeline" which appeared on Food Safety News, an online newsletter that he publishes. An editor's note read: "Bill Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark LLP, underwriter of Food Safety News has been asked to represent defendants Gerald Zirnstein and Carl Custer."
BPI filed a defamation lawsuit Sept. 13 against ABC News alleging the network’s news coverage of lean finely textured beef (LFTB) misled consumers to believe the company’s product was unhealthy and unsafe. Named in the lawsuit were: television news anchor Diane Sawyer; senior national correspondent Jim Avila; ABC News correspondent David Kerley; Kit Foshee, a former BPI employee; Zirnstein , a former US Department of Agriculture employee who claims to have coined the term “pink slime”; and Custer, also a former USDA employee.