Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A $177 million payment from Disney Corp. settled a "pink slime" lawsuit from five years ago filed by a South Dakota meat company against its ABC network, according to a financial filing.
A quarterly financial report from Disney released Tuesday notes the company made a one-time charge "incurred in connection with the settlement of litigation" in addition to an undisclosed amount from its insurance. The document doesn't specifically mention a payout to Beef Products Inc. but the case is the only one Disney specifies in the financial report. And Dan Webb, an attorney for BPI, told CNN the settlement was worth more than that total and some of the payout went to legal costs.
The settlement capped a defamation case that started in 2012 when ABC News ran stories on BPI and its production of a lean, finely textured beef product, which critics called "pink slime."
At the time of the report, Beef Products suspended work at plants throughout the Midwest, before eventually closing three of the four locations and laying off 650 workers. It later filed a defamation suit against ABC, reporter Jim Avila and anchor Diane Sawyer for $1.9 billion.
After the case was settled this June, Webb called ABC's reporting "extraordinarily biased and baseless." The network had reported that the meat product wasn't unsafe, but said Beef Products didn't disclose what was in the meat.
In a June statement, ABC was supportive of its reporting.
"Although we have concluded that continued litigation of this case is not in the company's interests, we remain committed to the vigorous pursuit of truth and the consumer's right to know about the products they purchase," ABC said.
The payout represents a small fraction of Disney's total financial portfolio. In the report, the company said it had earnings of $14 billion and net income of $2.36 billion.
Webb has also said the settlement "vindicated" the company. Beef Products addresses the claims on its website.
"Our lean beef does not resemble or deserve such a derogatory reference," the website says. "Everyone has experienced having sensational statements made about them without cause and it is hard to understand the reasons for such attacks. We rely on the opinion of the USDA, respected scientists, consumer advocate organizations, and our customers in determining the quality of our lean beef -- all of whom have always been very supportive."
Andrew V. Pestano contributed to this report.