ELK POINT, S.D. (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. The Associated Press 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.

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