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Suit settled after witness admits lying

The key witness for an Elgin lumber plant facing a negligence lawsuit said he lied to a jury last week in federal court, prompting a $1.5 million settlement Friday, Clif LeBlanc reported in the December 8, 2002 edition of The State Newspaper.

Truck driver, Hugh Hunter, 61, of Sanford, NC, lost most of his left leg in a 2001 accident at Conner Industries. Brandon Smothers, 19, the Conner forklift driver who ran over Hunter, will be investigated for perjury¬†after federal Judge Dennis Shedd ordered that Smothers’ testimony on Thursday be sent to prosecutors, “… to see if it’s appropriate to pursue a perjury indictment.” It’s unusual that a witness admits lying during testimony, Shedd said. “It’s what most lawyers hope for in cross-examination,” he told Hunter’s lawyer, Dick Harpootlian.

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