ABC News, BPI reach settlement in defamation trial
Beef Products Inc. has settled its $1.9 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC News, which stemmed from a series of reports that called the company’s lean finely textured beef “pink slime.” According to the Sioux City Journal, terms of the settlement are confidential.
"We are extraordinarily pleased with this settlement," BPI attorney Dan Webb said in a brief statement outside the Union County Courthouse Wednesday morning. He added that the trial testimony proved LFTB to be safe and nutritious, adding, “I believe we have totally vindicated the product.”
ABC's Jim Avila, the reporter behind the “pink slime” segments, stood behind his reports, adding that ABC is not retracting or apologizing for any of its news.
"I wish they had had the chance to hear my side of the story," Avila said.
ABC news released a statement that states: “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 and the Roth family, owners of BPI, have issued a statement: “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."
Source: Sioux City Journal, ABC News, BPI