Disney shells out $177 million to settle ‘pink slime’ litigation

This came to light following Disney’s filing its quarterly returns.

As per a quarterly financial report, Walt Disney Co has paid $177 million, in addition to insurance recoveries, to settle the closely watched “pink slime” defamation case against its ABC network by Beef Products Inc.

In 2012, American Broadcasting Company (ABC) was sued by privately-held for $5.7 billion on the grounds of defamation by reporter Jim Avila who had used the tag “pink slime” and made a series of errors and omissions in his reporting that year.

The matter came to an end when Disney and BPI came to an undisclosed settlement in June, 3-1/2 weeks after a trial began in South Dakota, where BPI is based.

The matter involving the litigation was reported by Disney in a footnote in its financial report, starting it was seeking additional insurance proceeds to recover its cash payment.

As per its financial tables, a charge of $177 million has been described as being “in connection with settlement of litigation.” Although the figure cannot be directly linked to the “pink slime” litigation, it is however the only case Disney has specified in its report.

Earlier in June, ABC stood by its reporting. After the settlement, Avila stated the company will not retract their stories nor apologize, and his 2012 “pink slime” reports remained on the ABC News website.

Significantly, BPI’s signature product is commonly mixed into ground beef and is made from beef chunks. It is exposed to bursts of ammonium hydroxide that kill E. coli bacteria and other contaminants.

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