The initial timeline has been determined for the defamation lawsuit trial filed by Beef Products Incorporated against ABC Broadcasting.
A court order states that jury selection will begin in Union County District Court on May 31st and potentially last until June 2nd.
Opening statements and presentation of evidence would start on June 5th.
The trial is expected to last nearly two months, until July 28th.
Court sessions will be held Monday through Friday with the exception of July 3rd and 4th.
A pre-trial conference in the case will start on April 18th.
BPI has claimed up to $1.9 billion of damages, which could be tripled to $5.7 billion under South Dakota’s Agricultural Food Products Disparagement Act against ABC and reporter Jim Avila.
The lawsuit claims ABC and Avila damaged BPI by referring to its lean finely textured beef in a series of reports as “pink slime.”