×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC Reaches Settlement in ‘Pink Slime’ Suit

ABC said it reached a settlement in a closely scrutinized lawsuit filed against it by a South Dakota meat producer over ABC News reports that led to critics labeling one of the company’s products “pink slime.”

“ABC has reached an amicable resolution of its dispute with the makers of ‘lean finely textured beef,'” the network said in a statement. ” Throughout this case, we have maintained that our reports accurately presented the facts and views of knowledgeable people about this product.  Although we have concluded that continued litigation of this case is not in the company’s interests, we remain committed to the vigorous pursuit of truth and the consumer’s right to know about the products they purchase.”

Financial terms of the settlement could not be immediately learned. A spokesman for Beef Products Inc. could not be reached for immediate comment.

An adverse outcome in the trial, which started earlier this month, could have had severe consequences for both ABC and its parent company, Walt Disney. Beef Products was seeking $1.9 billion in damages, but under a South Dakota law, that sum could have grown to as much as $5.7 billion. Beef Products, based in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, initially sued ABC in 2012, saying news coverage of a meat product known as “lean, finely textured beef” prompted consumers to believe it was unsafe and lead to plant closures and the layoff of hundreds of employees. ABC News has long said it stood by its reporting.

The defamation suit was also filed against ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer and ABC News reporter Jim Avila. Sawyer had been removed from the suit.

At issue was a meat byproduct that sparked concerns from scientists, a handful of whom in 2012 began criticizing its use and its introduction to the nation’s meat supply. A group of former Beef Products employees said in depositions made available during the trial that they felt lean finely textured beef was not in essence meat and that its presence should have been made known to consumers. The scientists said they had used the term “pink slime” to describe the product, which they said should have been identified as an additive and believed was not actually beef as it is commonly defined.

More TV

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Carriage Renewal Talks Continue as Blackout Looms

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives are going down to the wire tonight on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. Talks were still going after the midnight ET deadline passed and the channels remain up on DirecTV. A team of Viacom executives led by Tom Gorke, exec VP and head of distribution [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

  • 'Selling Sunset': Producer Behind Netflix's First

    'Selling Sunset': Producer Behind Netflix's First Docusoap on the State of Reality TV

    Netflix crossed another unscripted threshold on Friday with the launch of “Selling Sunset,” an 8-episode series that follows a group of real estate agents on the Sunset Strip. The show is believed to be the streaming service’s first docusoap, the now-ubiquitous format first popularized in the early 2000s by shows like MTV’s “Laguna Beach” and [...]

  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018

    Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018 Compensation Soar to $129.4 Million

    Discovery Inc. president-CEO David Zaslav is once again making headlines for an enormous compensation package. Zaslav’s 2018 compensation soared to $129.44 million in 2018, fueled by stock options and grants awarded as the longtime Discovery chief signed a new employment contract last July that takes him through 2023 at the cable programming group. Zaslav received [...]

  • 'Supernatural' to End After Season 15

    'Supernatural' to End After Season 15 on The CW

    “Supernatural” is ending after 15 seasons. Series stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins made the announcement in a video posted on Instagram on Friday. “We just told the crew that even though we’re very excited to be moving into our 15th season, it will be our last,” Ackles said. “15 years of a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content