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Report: Disney paid at least $177M to settle ABC's 'pink slime' case

Walt Disney Co. paid $177 million, plus insurance recoveries, to settle a defamation suit filed by meat processor Beef Products Inc. against ABC (US), Reuters reported Aug. 9.

In a footnote to its latest financial report, Disney described the charge as being "in connection with settlement of litigation." However, there was no direct reference to Beef Products' lawsuit.

In 2012, Beef Products sued ABC News and other people, including news anchor Diane Sawyer and reporter Jim Avila, over reports referring to the company's "lean, finely textured" beef product as "pink slime." A microbiologist formerly connected with the U.S. Department of Agriculture reportedly coined the term for the product, which is made from beef trimmings that are heated and sprayed with ammonia gas to kill bacteria.

ABC and Beef Products issued separate statements confirming the settlement June 28, with ABC saying it stood by its reporting. Avila, meanwhile, said the network was not retracting his stories or apologizing after the settlement.

Beef Products had sought $5.7 billion in its case against ABC, according to Reuters.