The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that Dakota dunes based BPI’s $1.2 billion dollar defamation lawsuit against ABC News over its coverage of the company’s lean finely textured beef may proceed.
The decision on Thursday allows BPI to potentially depose ABC news anchor Diane Sawyer, two of the networks correspondents and other defendants.
Beef Products Inc. sued the network in 2012 for its coverage of the company’s meat product that reports and critics derided as “pink slime.”
BPI alleges that the coverage led to plant closures and hundreds of layoffs because the reports misled consumers into believing their product was unsafe.
Attorneys for ABC in court filings say the network in each of its broadcasts stated the FDA deemed the product safe to eat. The network didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.