This September, 2012, photo provided by Dakota Dunes, S.D.-based meat processor Beef Products Inc., shows a sample of their lean, finely-textured beef. / AP
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Supreme Court is allowing a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit to proceed against television network ABC over its coverage of a meat product that critics derided as "pink slime."
The decision on Thursday allows the plaintiffs to potentially depose news anchor Diane Sawyer, two of the networks correspondents and other defendants.
Dakota Dunes-based Beef Products Inc. sued the network in 2012 for its coverage of the meat product the industry calls "lean, finely textured beef." BPI alleges that the coverage led to plant closures and layoffs because it misled consumers into believing the product was unsafe.
Attorneys for ABC in court filings say the network in each of its broadcasts stated the FDA deemed the product safe to eat. The network didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
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Read the original story: State court allows 'pink slime' lawsuit to proceed