SC high court overturns $11M defamation verdicts

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South Carolina's high court has overturned $11 million in verdicts against a Charleston attorney accused of defaming a businessman by comparing him to television mobster Tony Soprano.

The state Supreme Court this week sent a civil case against Paul Hulsey back to Circuit Court, according to a report from The Post and Courier of Charleston.

Hulsey was sued several years ago by Charleston businessmen Lawton Limehouse Sr.

The attorney had previously sued Limehouse's company on behalf of day laborers, claiming staffing agency L&L Services made fake green cards and Social Security cards, exploited workers and failed to pay overtime.

"This is a blatant case of indentured servitude," Hulsey told the newspaper in 2004. "L&L Services took advantage of the complexity of the system. They have created a perfect racketeering system, just like Tony Soprano."

Authorities looked into Hulsey's allegations but didn't bring charges. The lawsuit was ultimately settled for $20,000, according to the high court's ruling.

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