ELK POINT, SD — A 12-member jury and four alternates, including 11 women and five men, are ready to hear opening arguments today in a $1.9 billion defamation trial scheduled to last eight weeks here at the Union County Court House.

Union County Courthouse in Elk Point, SD, is the location of the trial pitting Beef Products Inc. against ABC News. A community room in the basement of the courthouse had to be renovated into a new courtroom at a cost of about $100,000 because the other two courtrooms in the building were deemed to be too small to handle the trial. Union County Courthouse in Elk Point, SD, is the location…

unioncountycourthouse_406x250
Union County Courthouse, Elk Point, SD

ABC Broadcasting and on-air reporter Jim Avila are being ordered to face a Union County, SD jury over a $5.7 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Beef Products Inc. (BPI).

ABC News Anchor Diane Sawyer, however, was released from the litigation over the Disney-owned network’s depiction…

I like a good trial as much as the next guy. Late last week, South Dakota Circuit Judge Cheryle Gering said she was not going to dismiss Beef Products Inc.’s $1.2-billion lawsuit against ABC News. For a moment at least, we can all have that fantasy about being in Elk Point, SD, someday in the…

Would Diane Sawyer hanging around tiny Elk Point, SD for a state Circuit Court trial be even more of a spectacle than in 1998 when Oprah Winfrey had to spent most of a week in the Texas cattle city of Amarillo? One thing for sure, Oprah got the “big” city, as Amarillo’s population was around…

A former Beef Products Inc. employee has filed a civil lawsuit against a number of media sources, alleging that they “willfully and maliciously” spread false and misleading statements about BPI’s beef filler known as lean finely textured beef (LFTB), a product referred to as ‘pink slime’ by these sources. Those statements, the former employee claims,…

In the Spring of 2012, a beef product called “Lean Finely Textured Beef,” an ingredient in an estimated 70 percent of America’s ground beef, came under fire because the meat — which is pulled from a cow carcass after the main cuts of beef have been removed and separated from bones and tissue in a…

The most important food product disparagement case to come before Beef Products Inc. v. ABC was dropped into the “in” basket at South Dakota’s First Judicial District in Elk Point, SD. Like this latest case, Auvil v. CBS “60 Minutes” involved a food product being damaged by what was shown and said on television. In…