>> A high stakes defamation lawsuit opening this week with Beef Products Incorporated, taking on ABC News for nearly $6 billion over a series of 2012 reports that referred to BPI's signature product as pink slime, a label the company says torpedoed its revenues. It's the first major court challenge against a media company since accusations of fake news by US President Donald Trump and his supporters have become part of the American vernacular.
>> You are fake news.>> Reuters legal correspondent Anthony Lynn.>> Well, they're objecting to what ABC and some critics using the term pink slime, which they regard as pejorative, basically this is a meat product. They call it lean, finely textured beef, and it's been in use for decades as sort of a supplement to other meat cuts in ground beef that's sold in supermarkets, used in fast food.
>> BPI accusing ABC News, which is owned by Disney, of defaming the company and making errors and omissions. The company has home court advantage, with the trial taking place in Elk Point, South Dakota, just 20 miles north of BPI's headquarters. Union County, where Elk Point is located, was won easily by Trump, who made bashing the mainstream media part of his presidential campaign.
>> They are so dishonest.>> A BPI lawyer even borrowing a phrase often used by the President in a January court hearing, referring to ABC's report as fake news.>> Fake news.>> But BPI faces a high burden of proof to make its case.>> What they would need to show is that ABC knew that what they reported was false right before and when they reported it, or that they had a so called reckless disregard for whether the report was true or not.
And that is, traditionally, a really hard standard to meet. People makes mistakes, and they correct them. And the press in the United States is usually given a fair bit of leeway on that.>> The high profile lawsuit leading the Union County Commission to ear mark $175,000 to convert its court house basement into an enlarged court room to accommodate the many expected onlookers.