The decision on Thursday allows the plaintiffs to potentially depose news anchor Diane Sawyer, two of the networks correspondents and other defendants.
Dakota Dunes-based Beef Products Inc. sued the network in 2012 for its coverage of the meat product the industry calls "lean, finely textured beef." BPI alleges that the coverage led to plant closures and layoffs because it misled consumers into believing the product was unsafe.
Attorneys for ABC in court filings say the network in each of its broadcasts stated the FDA deemed the product safe to eat. The network didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.