Walt Disney Co. disclosed a $177 million litigation settlement in its quarterly report Tuesday.
The company didn't offer details of what the settlement was related to, though it comes just six weeks after its ABC News unit reached a settlement of a $1.9 billion defamation suit filed by Beef Products Inc. over a 2012 series of stories the network aired about its processed-meat product, which critics had called "pink slime." Terms of that settlement weren't released.
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In its fiscal third quarter filing, Disney said the $177 million settlement is a net sum after "committed insurance recoveries."
A Walt Disney Co. spokesman declined to elaborate on the disclosure while an ABC News spokeswoman didn't respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Beef Products said: "As Disney disclosed, $177 million is not the total settlement amount. Based on Disney's disclosure, it appears that Disney is funding $177 million of the settlement and its insurers are paying the rest."
In the report, ABC News correspondent Jim Avila said meat product from Beef Products was made from "beef trimmings...once used only in dog food." In its suit against ABC News, Beef Products accused ABC of misleading viewers into thinking its product was lacking in nutritional value and not safe to consume.
The trial was being held in South Dakota where Beef Products is based.
When ABC News settled it said it stood by its reporting, but decided that "continued litigation of this case is not in the company's interest." South Dakota food-libel law allows for triple damages against anyone determined to have knowingly lied about the safety of a food product, meaning ABC News could have potentially been hit with $6 billion in damages.
Beef Products said when the settlement was announced that it had "again established" that its product is "safe, wholesome and nutritious."
--Jacob Gershman contributed to this article.
Corrections & Amplifications
This article was corrected at 4:33 a.m. ET because the original headline misstated the settlement amount. Walt Disney Co. disclosed a $177 million litigation settlement in its quarterly report Tuesday.
Walt Disney Co. disclosed a $177 million litigation settlement in its quarterly report Tuesday. In "Disney Discloses $177 Million Litigation Charge After 'Pink Slime' Food-Libel Settlement" at 1003 GMT, the original headline misstated the settlement amount.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 09, 2017 04:32 ET (08:32 GMT)