Nevada truck driver sues for $156 million of Howard Hughes estate

| 4/17/2007

The truck driver who claimed he saved billionaire Howard Hughes 40 years ago is again suing for his share of the Hughes estate.

Melvin Dummar, identified by The Associated Press as a frozen-meat truck driver from Brigham City, UT, is requesting a Nevada jury trial to decide whether two heirs of the late Hughes estate fraudulently prevented him from obtaining $156 million – equal to one-sixteenth of Hughes’ estate.

The two defendants named in the case are William Lummis and Frank Gay, who Dummar claims worked together to keep Hughes’ last will from being executed.

Dummar has long claimed to have driven Hughes to The Sands Hotel in Las Vegas after finding the billionaire lying in a rural Nevada road with a bloody face during the late evening hours in December 1967. Hughes was apparently suffering from exposure after leaving a brothel on foot, according to legal documents.

A Nevada trial in 1977 and 1978 rejected Dummar’s claim that LeVane Forsythe, a confidential agent of Hughes, gave Dummar an envelope shortly after Hughes’ death in April 1976 that contained a three-page will written by Hughes.

Dummar filed the most recent civil suite on April 7. That suit claims Lummis and Gay pressured Hughes’ aides to commit perjury in the 1977 trial when they testified that Hughes never left his penthouse suite in The Desert Inn.

Lummis eventually won control of Hughes’ estate and bought out several relatives with claims to the fortune, according to court documents.