30
Apr
14

S.D. Supreme Court Temporarily Stops BPI Defamation Suit

The South Dakota Supreme Court has temporarily frozen Beef Products Inc.’s $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC News over the Dakota Dunes-based company’s signature lean beef product.

Supreme Court Justice David Gilbertson granted ABC’s motion to stay the litigation while the Supreme Court considers the network’s appeal of a Union County Circuit Court judge’s ruling that allowed the bulk of the suit to proceed to trial.

A spokesman for BPI, which now has until May 5 to respond to ABC’s appeal, declined comment Monday on the Supreme Court stay.

BPI is suing ABC over a series of reports in March 2012 in which the network repeatedly referred to Lean Finely Textured Beef as “pink slime.” The family business alleges the coverage misled consumers into believing its low-fat, nutritional product was unsafe to eat, causing the company to lose more than $400 million in sales, close three of its four plants and eliminate more than 700 jobs.

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