Former BPI employee suing ABC personalities for lost job

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One of the 750 employees of Beef Products Inc. who lost his job after the “pink slime” controversy is holding Diane Sawyer, Jamie Oliver and others responsible.

Bruce Smith claims ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, chef Jamie Oliver and others who continuously used the phrase “pink slime” led viewers to believe the product made at BPI was dangerous to consumer and directly resulted in him losing his job.

click image to zoomBruce Smith says a photo which the media called "pink slime" is not lean finely textured beef and is not a product found at a BPI factory. (Credit KSFY News) Smith says an image the media associated with BPI’s product is not lean finely textured beef and is not a product found at a BPI factory.

The Los Angeles Times reports Smith is suing Sawyer, Oliver and food blogger Bettina Siegel among other defendants. Smith, a licensed attorney, is seeking $70,000 in damages. KSFY News reports Smith hopes other former BPI employees follow suit.

“My former employer was maliciously and needlessly maligned and accused of producing a food product that did not exist -- a product derisively, repeatedly, and relentlessly called 'pink slime' by traditional TV broadcast and print media, in concert with social internet media critics, bloggers, politicians, and celebrity entertainers,” Smith said in a statement.

Smith worked for BPI for more than four years before losing his job last May. He was the company’s senior counsel and director of environmental health and safety.

In addition to the lawsuit, Smith is promoting a book about his experiences titled, “Pink Slime Ate My Job.”

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manhattan, ks.  |  December, 13, 2012 at 06:13 PM

I hope you win!

ms  |  December, 14, 2012 at 08:35 AM

I think every employee who lost their job should be included in the law suit. It's about time hard working Americans stood up against the media buzzards. Hope you and your lawyer stands strong and not back down.

Canada  |  December, 14, 2012 at 08:37 AM

It is about time the ever-hungry sensationalism of the media had the tables reversed. It is not only BPI, their employees and direct spin-off's that took a kick to the gut, the entire meat and livestock industries took a hit as well - another blown-up story that took "agriculture" another step farther from the consumer. Perhaps this case may put a little journalism back into the media industry. Good luck Mr. Smith.

Altoona Pennsylvania  |  December, 14, 2012 at 08:40 AM

Good luck to you Mr. Smith! There are about 800 other former employees who need to get together and file lawsuits too. It's a bad time to be thrown out of work and I am sure they could use the money by now. Maybe some lawyers could get together to help these good people haul their persecutors in front of a judge? Fair is fair after all.

Central IL.  |  December, 14, 2012 at 09:30 AM

2 thumbs up, Hope you win, Make them put it on national TV about the misinformation. Someone should be accountable.

Colo  |  December, 14, 2012 at 12:41 PM

There's a distinct difference between 1st amendment rights and lying. For instance, how many celebrities have sued the media for "defamation of character" and won? Here's a revolutionary thought; maybe these reporters (?) could do some fact-checking instead of just simply broadcasting the drivel handed to them by their corporate masters. 'Course, the problem with facts is that they screw up a good story.

CA  |  December, 14, 2012 at 03:57 PM

Good for you Bruce Smith. I hope you win

kansas  |  December, 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM

Good for Mr. Smith! I'm normally suspicious regarding such lawsuits, but this is about big corporate media maliciously victimizing business and the employees who depend upon it for their living to sell advertising and fraudulently inflate their "public defender" image. This is an abuse of power, the public trust and individual rights. Too bad our current administration's gutless government agencies, who are paid to protect people from such bullying, slander and libel, are big corporate media cronies.

Ontario,OR  |  December, 14, 2012 at 06:58 PM

$70,000 is not enought. He should of asked for a lot more. Hope he wins.

December, 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Does anyone know what the product in the picture actually is? I"m curious.

SD  |  December, 28, 2012 at 04:01 PM

At some point in the 'news' cycle of this story, I believe that so called "product" masquerading as LFTB was identified as chicken. Does anyone else remember that or have a copy of it? I cannot find it now.

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