UPDATE: A judge hears arguments in BPI lawsuit - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: A judge hears arguments in BPI lawsuit


ELK POINT, S.D. (KTIV) - Here's a recap of what happened in the first hour and 40 minutes of the Beef Products Inc. hearing that is underway in a Union County South Dakota courtroom.

ABC attorney Kevin Baine argued that this case will have a long reaching impact about 1st amendment rights.

He said that BPI cannot prove that ABC News knowingly reported false statements about Lean Finely Textured Beef.

BPI Attorney Erik Connolly argued that ABC news knew they were creating consumer backlash.

Connolly said ABC News' objective was to damage BPI's reputation.

BPI attorney claimed ABC reported 190 false statements about the company, LFTB, and the process.

ABC attorney countered that many of those statements are the same statement repeated in different broadcasts.

BPI claims ABC News implied through its reports that their product (LFTB) is unsafe, not nutritious, and that it wasn't beef.

ABC attorney says the network went to great effort to make sure their reports were accurate. That they showed that the USDA and others believe the product is safe.

There are four motions before the court Tuesday. They biggest is the motion to dismiss, and the only one we've heard argument on.

Each attorney had 30 minutes to present their case, then 10 minutes for rebuttal.

Court resumed at 3 p.m. and KTIV's Kristen Johnson will update when there is a break.

Previous Script:

ELK POINT, S.D. (KTIV) - A hearing is underway in a Union County, South Dakota, courtroom to decide whether Beef Products Incorporated's lawsuit against ABC will be dismissed.

The Dakota Dunes, South Dakota-based business is suing the television network, and others, for $1.2-billion.

BPI claims ABC and others, led a "disinformation campaign targeting the business." Court documents claim the network damaged BPI by reporting its signature product, "lean, finely, textured beef" is unhealthy and unsafe.

ABC, however, contends BPI hasn't come up with enough evidence to support its claims.

KTIV's Kristen Johnson is in the courtroom and will provide updates during breaks.

Follow her @News4_Kristen on Twitter for updates.

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