Attorney: Settlement of lawsuit against ABC exceeds $177M

FILE - This March 29, 2012, file photo, shows the beef product that critics call "pink slime" during a plant tour of Beef Products Inc. in South Sioux City, Neb. Disney has reported spending $177 million on a legal settlement during the quarter that its subsidiary ABC and a South Dakota meat producer announced a settlement in a high-profile defamation lawsuit. ABC and South Dakota-based Beef Products Inc. announced their settlement in June 2017, but its terms are confidential. BPI sued ABC in 2012 over its reports on a beef product that critics dubbed "pink slime." (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

An attorney for Beef Products Inc. says a legal settlement between ABC in a defamation lawsuit over a beef product that critics dubbed "pink slime" exceeded $177 million

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A legal settlement between ABC and a South Dakota meat producer in a defamation lawsuit over the network's reports on a beef product that critics dubbed "pink slime" exceeded $177 million, an attorney for the producer said Wednesday.

Disney, which owns ABC, disclosed a $177 million legal settlement charge in a filing with a government securities regulator this week that didn't specifically link it to South Dakota-based Beef Products Inc. BPI attorney Dan Webb said that based on the disclosure, it appears Disney is funding $177 million of the settlement and insurers are "paying the rest."

"As Disney disclosed, $177 Million is not the total settlement amount," Webb said in a statement, which didn't give the full figure.

Disney reported in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it's pursuing "additional insurance coverage for this matter." The company didn't immediately respond to an email requesting comment from The Associated Press.

BPI and ABC announced the settlement in June while the case was at trial. BPI could have been seeking damages as high as $1.9 billion, according to the SEC filing from Disney.

BPI sued in 2012, saying ABC's coverage of its lean, finely textured beef product misled consumers into believing the product is unsafe, is not beef and isn't nutritious.

ABC spokeswoman Julie Townsend said in a June statement that throughout the case the network maintained its reports accurately presented the facts and views of "knowledgeable people" about the product.

The coverage emphasized that the product at the time was present in 70 percent of the ground beef sold in supermarkets, but wasn't labeled.

After the reports aired, some grocery store chains said they would stop carrying ground beef that contained the product. BPI claimed in the 2012 complaint that sales declined from about 5 million pounds (2.3 million kilograms) per week to less than 2 million pounds (907,000 kilograms) per week.

Lean, finely textured beef can be added to ground beef to reduce the overall fat content. It's made from trimmings left after beef cattle are butchered. The meat is separated from the fat, and ammonia gas is applied to kill bacteria.

Former Department of Agriculture microbiologist Gerald Zirnstein named the product "pink slime" in a 2002 agency email. He was among several people who were removed from the lawsuit before trial, including ABC anchor Diane Sawyer, leaving just the network and correspondent Jim Avila as defendants.

Related News

Asian stocks slip, yen and gold rise as global risks weigh

Apr 12, 2017

Most Asia stock markets are retreating as rising geopolitical risks keep investors on edge

Iowa at center of debate over 'shadow insurance' deals

Aug 30, 2016

Life insurance companies are setting up "shadow insurers" to take on some of their liabilities and free up some of their reserves

US factory output rose in January for 2nd straight month

Feb 15, 2017

US factory output rises for 2nd straight month in latest sign of manufacturing rebound

You may also like these

Asian stocks slip, yen and gold rise as global risks weigh

Apr 12, 2017

Most Asia stock markets are retreating as rising geopolitical risks keep investors on edge

Iowa at center of debate over 'shadow insurance' deals

Aug 30, 2016

Life insurance companies are setting up "shadow insurers" to take on some of their liabilities and free up some of their reserves

US factory output rose in January for 2nd straight month

Feb 15, 2017

US factory output rises for 2nd straight month in latest sign of manufacturing rebound

About Me

Enter Hollywood, the central informative hub of the world’s prime entertainment capital. We provide only the latest, juiciest and hottest news about your favorite celebrities 24/7.

Contact us: sales@enterhollywood.com