The quarterly earnings report released by ABC’s parent company Disney gives a little more information on the settlement reached in the lawsuit filed by Beef Products Incorporated against ABC News and reporter Jim Avila.
Disney paid $177 million dollars plus insurance recoveries, to settle the defamation case with BPI. Disney’s financial tables do not specify the BPI lawsuit, however the BPI litigation is the only case Disney refers to in their report.
A statement from Dan Webb, who led the BPI legal team, says “As Disney disclosed, $177 million is not the total settlement amount. Based on Disney’s disclosure, it appears that Disney is funding 177 million dollars of the settlement and its insurers are paying the rest.”
The settlement came on June 28th as the case was underway in Union County South Dakota. BPI sued ABC and Avila in 2012 seeking $2 billion saying they defamed the company by referring to its lean finely textured beef as “pink slime.”
The company claimed it lost business after those reports and was forced to close manufacturing plants and layoff hundreds of workers. That included the closing of a plant in Waterloo.
(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)