SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- A federal judge overseeing a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit filed by a South Dakota beef processing company against ABC News has recused himself from the case.
Judge Lawrence L. Piersol recused himself from the case that is being heard in U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota. The case has been reassigned to Chief Judge Karen Schreier.
Dakota Dunes, S.D.-based Beef Products Inc. sued ABC News Inc. in September for defamation over its coverage of a meat product called lean, finely textured beef that critics dub "pink slime." The meat processor claims the network damaged the company by misleading consumers into believing the product is unhealthy and unsafe.
A representative of Piersol's says she could not comment on why the judge recused himself.