A South Dakota judge is scheduled to hear oral arguments Tuesday on whether Beef Products Inc.'s $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC News should proceed, reports the Sioux City Journal. BPI has claimed that the network’s reporting of its lean finely textured beef, labled as “pink slime” by critics, damaged the company by misleading consumers into believing that its LFTB is unhealthy and unsafe.

South Dakota First Circuit Court Judge Cheryle Gering is set to hear oral arguments from lawyers representing the various parties at Tuesday's hearing, which begins at 1 p.m. at the Union County Courthouse in Elk Point.

Attorneys for ABC, its parent company, and six individual defendants, including ABC anchor Diane Sawyer, have filed motions to dismiss the South Dakota case, arguing that its coverage was protected by the First Amendment and that the network did not knowingly disparage BPI or LFTB.

For more information about the case, visit http://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/a1/judge-to-hear-oral-arguments-in-bpi-abc-news-lawsuit/article_33e35484-77d4-53af-b5e2-76567606bfd2.html.

Source: Sioux City Journal