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Pink slime lawsuit: ABC wants largest defamation lawsuit in history dismissed

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The pink slime lawsuit is the outcome of an ABC News investigative report regarding how one of the nation’s biggest meat producers prepared the meat for market. Lawyers for ABC News have asked the judge to dismiss the pink slime lawsuit which is asking for $1.2 billion dollars in damages, according to Reuters on Dec. 17.

Beef Products Inc., which are the makers of the “lean finely textured beef” argued that the case should go to court as they lost over $400 million in profit after ABC’s investigative reports. They claim that ABC News defamed the company’s product and in turn this damaged the business, causing the loss in profits.

ABC News wants the court case dismissed as it stands by its reports and cites free speech protections. ABC News attorneys state that ABC never said that the meat was unsafe. They reported on the preparation of the meat, which consisted of beef chunks and trimmings. This included exposing the meat to bursts of ammonium hydroxide to kill E. Coli. and other contaminants.

The meat company’s attorneys say that ABC "mischaracterized" this as “pink slime.” They claim ABC News used the term “pink slime” 137 times over a four week period in their news reports and social media postings.

Judge Cheryle Gering took under advisement both sides of this oral argument and will issue a written ruling to the parties involved. She did not give a timetable for the ruling. This is a high-profile case as it is one of the largest defamation lawsuits in U.S. history. It could set quite the precedent for future cases.

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