Testimony from ABC-TV News Reporter Jim Avila highlighted Wednesday’s proceedings in the $1.9 billion dollar defamation lawsuit filed by Beef Products Incorporated against ABC Broadcasting and Avila.
Even though Avila has been in Elk Point South Dakota for the entire week and a half of the trial, he did not take the witness stand.
Instead, a previously videotaped deposition of Avila was played for the jury.
BPI’s attorney Dan Webb questioned Avila over how thoroughly he vetted the credibility of his sources used in his news reports that alleged BPI’s lean finely textured beef was not safe and was actually “pink slime’ and not beef.
Avila said he didn’t know Gerald Zirnstein, a former USDA scientist, was a crusader against LFTB:
OC………in the product. ;24
Zirnstein is credited with coining the term “pink slime”.
Avila was also questioned about his use of that term;
OC…of the tongue. ;14
Webb asked Avila several times if he thought using “pink slime” to describe a food product was derogatory:
Avila hedged and referred back to Zirnstein:
OC………..critical comment, yes. :15
The trial continues Thursday in Union County District Court.