Friday, September 14, 2012

Sawyer, ABC News 'Slimed' with $1.2b Defamation Suit by S. Dak. Beef Filler Maker

English: Looking east at ABC News headquarters...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dakota Dunes, South Dakota-based Beef Products, Inc.("BPI"), the nation's largest producer of lean finely textured beef filler unaffectionately dubbed pink slime, has slammed ABC News, anchor Diane Sawyer and others with a $1.2 billion defamation suit, according to a report by the Reuters news wire.

In a 263-page complaint filed in Union County Circuit Court, Beef Products Inc. et al. v. American Broadcasting Cos. et al (Case No. 12-292), the plaintiff is seeking $400 million in compensatory damages, along with punitive damages, for what it claims were more than 200 defamatory statements by ABC News in reports alleging the beef filler product it produces, which is made from ammonia-sprayed fatty trimmings, was harmful and not beef.

BPI is represented by high-profile Chicago attorney Dan Webb, a former U.S. attorney from Illinois whose prominent cases include prosecuting retired Adm. John Poindexter in the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan administration.  Besides Sawyer, ABC News journalists Jim Avila and David Kerley are also named as defendants.

The BPI complaint, according to the Reuters piece, alleges the company suffered staggering financial losses after ABC News telecast negative reports about pink slime in March and April of 2012, and was forced to pink slip half its work force--700 jobs--along with shuttering three of its four operating plants. The plaintiff alleges the defendants acted with actual malice in reporting about the finely textured beef it produces.
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