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Court of Appeals - Roster of Cases for Hearing

February 2017

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The summary below each case is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what issues are included in a case which will be argued. The summary is not a limit on what issues a party to a case may present at oral argument.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Court Room I
10:40 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2014-001826    Edwin M. Smith, Jr., Appellant, v. David Fedor, Respondent.

James R. Gilreath and William Mitchell Hogan, both of The Gilreath Law Firm, PA, of Greenville, for Appellant. Katherine Carruth Goode, of Winnsboro, for Respondent.

Edwin Smith, Jr. appeals the trial court's order granting David Fedor's motion for relief from judgment, arguing (1) the trial court erred in refusing to consider the confidential settlement agreement in determining whether Fedor satisfied the confession of judgment, (2) the trial court should have considered the merits of Smith's motion for reconsideration even though it was not provided to the court within ten days of filing, and (3) this court should remand the matter to the trial court for denial of the motion for relief from judgment because the confidential settlement agreement is sufficiently clear, explicit, and unambiguous.

 
11:20 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-002092    Dallas Paul Bessinger, Claimant, v. R-N-M Builders & Associates, LLC, Employer, and FirstComp a division of Markel, Inc., Carrier, Of whom the South Carolina Uninsured Employers' Fund is the Appellant/Respondent, And FirstComp, a division of Markel, Inc., is the Respondent/Appellant.

Amy V. Cofield of Cofield Law Firm, of Lexington, for Appellant-Respondent SC Uninsured Employers' Fund. Richard Daniel Addison of Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo, LLP, of Columbia, for Respondent-Appellant FirstComp a division of Markel, Inc.

This is a cross-appeal from a final decision and order of the Appellate Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission holding the South Carolina Uninsured Employers' Fund (Appellant-Respondent) responsible for Claimant's benefits because the Appellate Panel found the workers' compensation insurance contract between J&L Construction, LLC, and FirstComp a division of Markel, Inc. (Respondent-Appellant) was procured by fraud and void ab initio. This case involves a procedural posture where a Single Commissioner found the insurance contract void ab initio, the Appellate Panel vacated the decision of the Single Commissioner and remanded for a "hearing de novo," a Single Commissioner once again found the contract void ab initio, and the Appellate Panel affirmed that finding in full. Appellant-Respondent argues (1) the Single Commissioner erred in the hearing de novo by reconsidering evidence submitted in the first hearing without ensuring proper foundation was laid in the new hearing and over proper objection; (2) the Single Commissioner erred in denying the motion of the Appellant-Respondent to exclude certain deposition testimony not properly before the commission; and (3) the Appellate Panel erred in finding a workers' compensation policy can be void ab initio where the law of South Carolina requires a workers' compensation policy to be properly cancelled. Respondent-Appellant appeals the Appellate Panel's initial remand, arguing (1) the Appellate Panel exceeded its statutory authority in issuing the remand; (2) the Appellate Panel did not properly comply with the attendant South Carolina Regulations in reviewing and remanding the order of the Single Commissioner; and (3) the Appellate Panel erred in failing to make any findings of fact to support the remedy ordered.

 
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Court Room I
10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-001986    Countrywood Nursing, LLC, Appellant, v. South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Respondent.

Daniel J. Westbrook and Alice Vincenza Harris, both of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, of Columbia, for Appellant. W. Allen Nickles, III, of Nickles Law Firm, of Columbia, for Respondent.

Countrywood Nursing, LLC (Countrywood) appeals the Administrative Law Court's determination the Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) is allowed to recoup overpayment of Medicaid funds from it based on audits of three cost report periods. Countrywood asserts it is a third-party beneficiary to DHHS's contract with the South Carolina State Auditor's Office (SAO) and it has standing to assert rights under the contract under the public importance exception. Countrywood also questions whether DHHS can recoup fund from Countrywood when the SAO failed to issue timely audit reports in violation of both the DHHS-SAO contract and the contract between DHHS and Countrywood.

 
10:40 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-001702    James Dent, Appellant, v. East Richland County Public Service District, Employer, and State Accident Fund, Carrier, Respondents.

Matthew C. Robertson, of McDaniel Law Firm, of Columbia, for Appellant. Page Snyder Hilton, of Columbia, for Respondents.

James Dent appeals the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission Appellate Panel's (Appellate Panel) order, arguing the Appellate Panel erred in (1) failing to find he is totally and permanently disabled, and (2) finding his disability is primarily a result of his lung cancer and not his work-related back injury.

 
Monday, February 13, 2017
Court Room I
10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-001548    William Henry Chapman, Appellant, v. South Carolina Department of Social Services, Respondent.

Dwight Christopher Moore of Moore Law Firm, LLC, of Sumter, for Appellant. William C. Smith, of Columbia, for Respondent.

William Henry Chapman filed a grievance against his employer, South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS), alleging his termination was improper. On appeal, he argues (1) he has not failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, and (2) even if he has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, DSS is estopped from raising the issue.

 
10:40 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-001622    James Winston Davis, Jr., Respondent, v. South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Appellant.

Frank L. Valenta, Jr., Philip S. Porter, and Brandy Anne Duncan, all of Blythewood, for Appellant. H. Wayne Floyd of Wayne Floyd Law Office, of West Columbia, for Respondent. Frank Anthony Barton, of West Columbia, for Respondent.

 
11:20 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-000390    The State, Respondent, v. Eric Terrell Spears, Appellant.

Appellate Defender LaNelle Cantey DuRant, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Senior Assistant Attorney General David A. Spencer, both of Columbia, for Respondent. Solicitor Daniel Edward Johnson, of Columbia, for Respondent.

Eric Spears appeals his conviction of trafficking crack cocaine between ten and twenty-eight grams, for which he was sentenced to thirty years' imprisonment. On appeals, Spears argues the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress the drugs based on a Fourth Amendment violation because there was not probable cause for police to conduct the investigative stop leading to his arrest.

 
12:00 p.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2014-001850    Mark M. Sweeney, Appellant/Respondent, v. Irene M. Sweeney, Respondent/Appellant.

Bruce Wyche Bannister and Luke Anthony Burke, both of Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, LLC, of Greenville, for Appellant-Respondent. David M. Yokel of David M. Yokel, LLC, of Greenville, for Respondent-Appellant.

Mark M. Sweeney (Husband) appeals the family court's final divorce decree, arguing the court erred in (1) awarding alimony to Irene M. Sweeney (Wife), (2) apportioning nonmarital property, (3) miscalculating the amount of rental proceeds he deposited in the parties' joint account during the pendency of litigation, (4) holding him in contempt, and (5) awarding Wife attorney's fees. Wife cross-appeals, asserting the family court erred in (1) failing to impute her income at the minimum wage, (2) awarding an insufficient amount of alimony, (3) overvaluing marital property, (4) crediting Husband for rental proceeds he deposited in the joint account, and (5) failing to consider all of the necessary factors in determining her attorney's fees award.

 
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Court Room I
10:40 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-001546    Rudy Barreira Almazan, Employee, v. Henson & Associates, Employer, and Auto Owners Insurance, Carrier, Respondents, and S.C. Uninsured Employers Fund, Appellant.

Amy V. Cofield of Cofield Law Firm, of Lexington, for Appellant. John Preston Griffith of Smith & Griffith, LLP, of Anderson, for Respondent Henson & Associates. Roy Allen Howell, III, and Kirsten Leslie Barr, both of Trask & Howell, LLC, of Mt. Pleasant, for Respondent Auto Owners Insurance Company.

In this Workers' Compensation Commission case, the South Carolina Uninsured Employers Fund (SCUEF) appeals, arguing Auto Owners Insurance Company did not meet the necessary requirements to pass liability of Rudy Almazan's claim to the SCUEF.

 
11:20 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-001490    Charles E. Stubbs, Appellant, v. South Carolina Department of Employment Workforce and JSE, LLC, Respondents.

Kirby Rakes Mitchell and Jack E. Cohoon, both of South Carolina Legal Services, of Columbia, for Appellant. Maura Dawson Baker, E.B. "Trey" McLeod, III, and Debra Sherman Tedeschi, all of Columbia, for Respondent.

Charles E. Stubbs appeals the administrative law court's finding his appeal was untimely. Stubbs asserts his appeal was timely because he placed his appeal in the mail within ten days of notification.

 
12:00 p.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-001721    Estate of Willie G. Weekley, Deceased, By Its Personal Representative, Betty W. Denney, Respondent, v. L.C. Weekley, Laura Weekley Segel, Individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of William James Weekley, Deceased, Peter Saad as Personal Representative of Mary Elizabeth Weekley Saad, Deceased and as Trustee of the Mary Elizabeth Saad Trust, Of Whom Laura Weekley Segal, Individually And As Personal Representative Of The Estate Of William James Weekley, Deceased, is the Appellant.

Amanda A. Bailey of McNair Law Firm, PA, of Myrtle Beach, for Appellant. Kelly McPherson Jolley and Ariail Burnside Kirk, both of Jolley Law Group, LLC, of Hilton Head Island, for Appellant. George Hamlin O'Kelley, III, of Buist Byars & Taylor, LLC, of Mt. Pleasant, for Respondent.

Laura Weekley Segel appeals the circuit court's order affirming the probate court's grant of summary judgement in favor of the Estate of Wille G. Weekley. Segel argues the probate court erred in setting aside the conveyances of 40 acres of property and returning the land to the Estate because said conveyances did not comply with the terms of Willie G. Weekley's will.

 
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Court Room I
10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-001760    South Carolina Public Interest Foundation and Edward D. Sloan, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Appellants, v. South Carolina Department of Transportation, and Robert J. St. Onge, Jr., Secretary of Transportation, Respondents.

James G. Carpenter of Carpenter Law Firm, PC, of Greenville, for Appellants. Beacham O. Brooker, Jr., of Brooker Law Offices LLC of Columbia, for Respondents.

Appellants Edward D. Sloan and the South Carolina Public Interest Foundation appeal the circuit court's order denying their request for attorney's fees under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act against Respondents the South Carolina Department of Transportation and Robert J. St. Onge, Jr. Appellants argue (1) they were entitled to attorney's fees; (2) Respondents' production of public records did not render their claim for attorney's fees moot; (3) the circuit court properly ruled the documents were not exempt from production; and (4) their actual attorney's fees and costs were reasonable

 
10:40 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-001828    Lisa McKaughan, Individually and as the Personal Representative of the Estate of William Farr, Appellant, v. Upstate Lung and Critical Care Specialists, P.C.; and Sau-Yin Wan, M.D., Respondents.

Jordan Christopher Calloway of McGowan Hood & Felder, LLC, of Rock Hill, for Appellant. William Angus McKinnon, of York, for Appellant. Ashby W. Davis and David Lee Williford, II, both of Davis, Snyder, Williford & Lehn, P.A., of Greenville, for Respondents. Andrew F. Lindemann of Davidson & Lindemann, PA, of Columbia, for Respondents.

In this medical malpractice action, Lisa McKaughan, individually and as personal representative of the estate of William Farr, allege the circuit court erred by directing a verdict in favor of Critical Care Specialists and Sau-Yin Wan (collectively Respondents). McKaughan also alleges the circuit court improperly excluded the testimony of her expert pursuant to Rule 702, SCRCP.

 
11:20 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2014-001550    The State, Respondent, v. McKenzie L. Davis, Appellant.

Appellate Defender John Harrison Strom, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., both of Columbia, for Respondent. Solicitor Isaac McDuffie Stone, III, of Bluffton, for Respondent.

McKenzie L. Davis appeals his driving under the influence (DUI) conviction and sentence, arguing the trial court erred in failing to suppress his blood analysis results because (1) the officer had no probable cause to arrest him for felony DUI, as there was no probable cause he was either the driver of the automobile or that he was under the influence of alcohol, and (2) the officer was required to obtain a search warrant before taking his blood sample, as there were no exigent circumstances justifying a warrantless search.

 
12:00 p.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2014-000847    Preservation Society of Charleston, Historic Charleston Foundation, Historic Ansonborough Neighborhood Association, South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, Charleston Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, and Charleston Communities for Cruise Control, Appellants, v. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and South Carolina State Ports Authority, Respondents.

W. Jefferson Leath, Jr., of Leath Bouch & Seekings, LLP, of Charleston, for Appellants. Amy Elizabeth Armstrong and Jessie Allison White, both of S.C. Environmental Law Project, of Pawleys Island, for Appellants. James Blanding Holman, IV, of Southern Environmental Law Center, of Charleston, for Appellants. Michael Gary Corley, of Greenville, for Appellants. Tracey Colton Green, Randolph Russell Lowell, and Chad Nicholas Johnston, all of Willoughby & Hoefer, PA, of Columbia, for Respondent South Carolina State Ports Authority. Bradley David Churdar, Associate General Counsel, of Charleston, for Respondent South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

This is an appeal of several orders issued by the Administrative Law Court (ALC) in a contested case proceeding arising from Appellants' opposition to a proposed cruise ship terminal in downtown Charleston. Appellants argue (1) the ALC erred in granting summary judgment to Respondents South Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA) and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) based on a finding that Appellants lacked standing, (2) certain DHEC authorizations should have been vacated for lack of a required certification component, (3) the ALC erred in refusing to expand discovery, and (4) the ALC abused its discretion in issuing sanctions against Appellants for requesting a remand to the DHEC Board for a final review conference after the Board had declined a prior request for the same relief.

 
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Court Room II
10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-001606    Jenna Foran, Employee, Appellant, v. Murphy USA, Employer, and Liberty Insurance Corporation, Carrier, Respondents.

C. Scott Masel of Newby Sartip Masel & Casper, LLC, of Myrtle Beach, for Appellant. J. Gabriel Coggiola of Willson, Jones, Carter & Baxley, P. A., of Columbia, for Respondents. Anne Veatch Noonan of Willson Jones Carter & Baxley, P.A., of Mount Pleasant, for Respondents.

In this appeal from the Appellate Panel of the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission (the Appellate Panel), Jenna Foran argues the Appellate Panel erred in finding (1) her injury was idiopathic and (2) she did not suffer a compensable injury by accident within the course and scope of her employment.

 
10:40 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-001458    Cynthia L. Aviles, Respondent, v. South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, and Accusweep Services, Inc., Defendants, Of whom, South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce is the Appellant.

E.B. "Trey" McLeod, III, and Debra Sherman Tedeschi, both of Columbia, for Appellant. Christopher Shannon Leonard of Kendrick & Leonard, P.C., of Columbia, for Respondent.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) appeals an order of the administrative law court (ALC) in which the ALC awarded unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to Cynthia L. Aviles after determining there was no evidence in the record to show she voluntarily quit her employment. DEW argues the ALC erred in (1) reversing DEW's determination that Aviles was indefinitely disqualified from receiving UI benefits, which was based on DEW's factual finding that Aviles left her most recent job voluntarily and without good cause due to her incarceration and (2) deciding Aviles was entitled to UI benefits when her separation from employment was a direct result of being incarcerated for over four months.

 
11:20 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-001401    Joyce Myers, Respondent, v. Titlemax of South Carolina, Inc. and Affordable Recovery Solutions a/k/a ARS, Defendants, Of which Affordable Recovery Solutions a/k/a ARS is the Appellant.

Patrick M. Higgins of Howell Gibson & Hughes, PA, of Beaufort, for Appellant. Mark Brandon Tinsley of Gooding & Gooding, PA, of Allendale, for Respondent. Robert Norris Hill of Law Office of Robert Hill, of Lexington, for Respondent.

In this negligence action, Appellant Affordable Recovery Solutions seeks review of the circuit court's order denying Appellant's motion to compel arbitration. Appellant argues the circuit court erred in concluding the existence of a significant relationship between Respondent Joyce Myers' claims and the loan agreements she signed was necessary in order to compel arbitration. Appellant also argues the circuit court erred in concluding the alleged torts were unforeseeable when Myers executed the loan agreements.

 
Cases to be Submitted Without Oral Argument
2015-000312 The State, Respondent, v. Jerald Denton Gaskins, Jr., Appellant.

2015-000329 Julius Brazell, Appellant, v. Town of Chapin, South Carolina; and County of Lexington, South Carolina, Respondents.

2015-000379 Perry Watford, #289215, Appellant, v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, Respondent.

2015-001114 Anne Nicholson, Obie Varner, Lois Parker, Gloria Sinsuat, Elizabeth Sharper, Preston Grant, Alice Felder and Sebrina Walker, Plaintiffs, Of whom Sebrina Walker is the Appellant, v. SAIC Engineering, Inc., Christina Broom, John Kiessling and Marcia Saari, Respondents.

2016-001164 The State, Respondent, v. John Robert Crawford, Appellant.

2015-000519 The State, Respondent, v. David Lee Walker, Appellant.

2015-001922 The State, Respondent, v. Gene Donald Cook, Jr., Appellant.

2015-002344 Billy Lee Lisenby, Jr., #200273, Appellant, v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, Respondent.

2016-000333 The State, Respondent, v. Tarran Marteious Edwards, Appellant.

2016-000467 The State, Respondent, v. Tyler Shiggs, Appellant.

2015-002298 The State, Respondent, v. Timothy Dale Crockett, Appellant.

2016-000287 The State, Respondent, v. Lorenzo Ragin, Appellant.

2015-000483 The State, Respondent, v. David Adam Young, Appellant.

2015-002232 The State, Respondent, v. Christopher Allen Middleton, Appellant.

2015-002407 The State, Respondent, v. Thomas Raynes Marett, Appellant.

2016-000083 The State, Respondent, v. Randy Glenn, Appellant.

2016-000106 Harold Raynor a/k/a Harold Reynor, and Michael Caldwell, Respondents, v. Charles C. Byers, John T. Bakhaus, Kurt Kasler, and Kenneth Smith, Defendants, Of whom Charles C. Byers, John T. Bakhaus, and Kenneth Smith are the Appellants.

2016-000530 Charlton Davis #231377, Appellant, v. South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, Respondent.

2016-000710 The State, Respondent, v. Daniel Mason Hurt, Appellant.

2016-000800 The State, Respondent, v. Karacus Korean Freeman, Appellant.

2015-001495 The State, Respondent, v. Terrance Seabrook, Appellant.

2014-001176 The State, Respondent, v. Vincent Missouri, Appellant.

2015-000906 Kevin Medlin, Respondent, v. Crystal White, n/k/a Crystal Stroud, Appellant.

2015-001023 The State, Respondent, v. Loushonda Myers, Appellant.

2015-001902 The State, Respondent, v. Martin Rodriguez, Appellant.

2015-001925 The State, Respondent, v. Ashley Martin, Appellant.

2015-002343 Billy Lee Lisenby, Jr., #200273, Appellant, v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, Respondent.

2016-000315 The State, Respondent, v. James Chadwick Lyda, Appellant.