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2005-UP-024 - Kaveh v. Parton Land & Timber
THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS
PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

David Kaveh, Respondent,

v.

Parton Land & Timber Company, Inc., and Custom Grading & Construction, Inc., d/b/a Carolina Earth Movers, Defendants,

of Whom Parton Land & Timber Company, Inc. is, Appellant.


Appeal From York County
John C. Hayes, III, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2005-UP-024
Submitted November 1, 2004 – Filed January 13, 2005


AFFIRMED


Douglas F. Gay, of Rock Hill, for Appellant. 

Lucy London McDow, of Rock Hill, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Parton Land & Timber Company, Inc. appeals the jury’s award of punitive damages to David Kaveh on his claim for conversion of timber arguing the court erred by denying its motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, for a new trial absolute.  We affirm [1] pursuant to Rule 220(b)(2), SCACR, and the following authorities:

As to the trial court’s denial of the motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict:  Rule 50(b), SCRCP (“A party who has moved for a directed verdict may move to have the verdict and any judgment entered thereon set aside and to have judgment entered in accordance with his motion for a directed verdict[.]”) (emphasis added); Johnson v. Hoechst Celanese Corp., 317 S.C. 415, 420, 453 S.E.2d 908, 911 (Ct. App. 1995) (“If a party fails to make a directed verdict motion before the jury retires, the party cannot subsequently move for JNOV.”).

As to the trial court’s denial of the motion for new trial absolute:  Vick v. South Carolina Dep’t of Transp., 347 S.C. 470, 481, 556 S.E.2d 693, 699 (Ct. App. 2001) (“The jury’s determination of damages is entitled to substantial deference.”); Rush v. Blanchard, 310 S.C. 375, 379-80, 426 S.E.2d 802, 805 (1993) (“The trial court should grant a new trial based on the excessiveness of the verdict only if the amount is not merely different from that which he would have awarded, but is so grossly excessive so as to shock the conscience of the court and clearly indicates that the figure reached was the result of caprice, passion, prejudice, partiality, corruption or other improper motives.”); Vinson v. Hartley, 324 S.C. 389, 404, 477 S.E.2d 715, 723 (Ct. App. 1996) (“The grant or denial of new trial motions rests within the discretion of the trial judge and his decision will not be disturbed on appeal unless his findings are wholly unsupported by the evidence or the conclusions reached are controlled by error of law.”); McGee v. Bruce Hosp. Sys., 321 S.C. 340, 346, 468 S.E.2d 633, 637 (1996) (holding an appellant’s allegations of error by the trial court in reviewing an award of punitive damages pursuant to Gamble v. Stevenson, 305 S.C. 104, 406 S.E.2d 350 (1991) are unpreserved where the issue was not raised to the trial court). 

AFFIRMED.

ANDERSON, STILWELL, and SHORT, JJ., concur.


[1] We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.