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Judge bows out of 'pink slime' suit over ABC ties

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November 27, 2012 06:49 PM EST | AP

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A federal judge has recused himself from presiding over a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC because his daughter-in-law works as a producer on one of the network's morning shows.

Judge Lawrence L. Piersol recused himself from hearing the defamation lawsuit filed by South Dakota-based Beef Products Inc. against ABC because his daughter-in-law works as a producer on "Good Morning America."

The case has been reassigned to Chief Judge Karen Schreier.

Beef Products Inc. sued ABC in September over its coverage of a meat product called lean, finely textured beef. Critics have dubbed the product "pink slime." The meat processor claims the network damaged the company by misleading consumers into believing the product is unhealthy and unsafe.