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SD state judge appointed in 'pink slime' lawsuit

ELK POINT (AP) -- A South Dakota circuit court judge has been appointed to oversee a defamation lawsuit over ABC News' coverage of a meat product that critics dub "pink slime."

The lawsuit filed by Beef Products Inc. was moved last month from federal court to state court. KTIV-TV reports that First Circuit Judge Cheryle Gering will oversee the lawsuit.

Dakota Dunes, S.D.-based BPI claims the TV network damaged the company by misleading consumers into believing that its signature product -- lean, finely textured beef -- is unhealthy and unsafe. It is seeking $1.2 billion in damages.

ABC has said it intends to ask the circuit court to dismiss the case.