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Inmate suing equipment firms

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HARRISONBURG -- Former Edinburg lumberyard owner Richie Hansford "Shag" Conner, who already has unsuccessfully sued his doctor and former lawyer from his federal prison cell, is now suing an equipment company.

Conner, former owner of Shag's Lumber Yard on U.S. 11, south of Edinburg, is serving a nearly 11-year sentence on drug, money laundering and tax convictions.

The lawsuit he filed against Reckart Equipment Co., of Beverly, W.Va., and Allied Systems Co., of Sherwood, Ore., in Shenandoah County Circuit Court in January was transferred to U.S. District Court last week, according to online court records.

It says he bought a skidder from Reckart for $195,000 in 2004. The skidder soon developed problems, according to the suit, including "a malfunctioning grapple (which eventually exploded), a 'blow-by on motor and rear main seal leak.'"

Both Reckart and Allied, the manufacturer, initially worked on the issues, but Allied informed Conner in February 2007 it would take no additional action, the lawsuit says.
Reckart also didn't follow up with the problems, it says.

Reckart is seeking dismissal of the lawsuit, saying a statute of limitations has run out, Conner didn't allow for enough time to fix warranty issues and didn't mitigate his damages, according to court records.

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