A three day pre-trial conference in the $1.9 billion dollar defamation lawsuit trial filed by Beef Products Incorporated against ABC Broadcasting will begin Tuesday morning in Union County District Court in Elk Point, South Dakota.
The lawsuit claims ABC News and reporter Jim Avila damaged B-P-I by referring in news reports to the company’s lean finely textured beef as “pink slime”.
B-P-I’s claim could potentially be tripled to $5.7 billion under South Dakota’s Agricultural Food Products Disparagement Act.
Jury selection in the case is scheduled to begin 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.