Opening statements took place Monday to start the $1.9 billion dollar defamation lawsuit filed by Beef Products Incorporated against ABC Broadcasting and reporter Jim Avila.
The trial in Union County District Court in Elk Point stems from ABC news reports that referred to BPI’s lean, finely textured beef as “pink slime.”
BPI attorney Dan Webb told the jury that those reports led to BPI losing 75 per cent of its business, forcing the company to close three plants.
Webb says the evidence will show ABC’s reports were false and based on misinformation and that the company’s product is safe and nutritious.
OC……waste trimmings. :25
Dane Butswinkus, ABC’s attorney, countered that the production of BPI’s beef product was shrouded in secrecy, that the USDA ignored studies raising concerns about the product, and that stories by the New York Times and other outlets criticized the LFTB before ABC ever aired a report in 2012.
OC….the first ABC report. :16
He also says the company’s three largest clients, McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell, stopped using LFTB before ABC aired the reports in March and April of 2012.
Judge Cheryle Gering is presiding over the case.