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2009-UP-042 - Atlantic Coast Builders v. Lewis

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

Atlantic Coast Builders and Contractors, Respondent,

v.

Laura Lewis, Appellant.


Appeal From Beaufort County
 Curtis L. Coltrane, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.  2009-UP-042
Submitted January 2, 2009 – Filed January 15, 2009


AFFIRMED


Hemphill P. Pride, II, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Beth Ann Gilleland, of Bluffton and John P. Qualey, Jr., of Hilton Head Island, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: Atlantic Coast Builders, LLC (Atlantic), brought this action against Laura Lewis for negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, breach of lease, and breach of quiet enjoyment.  Lewis answered and filed a counterclaim for breach of contract.  The trial court granted judgment to Atlantic for negligent misrepresentation in the amount of $10,160.79.  Lewis appealed.  We affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following authorities.    

1.  As to whether the trial court erred in denying Lewis’s directed verdict motion: State v. Bailey, 368 S.C. 39, 43 n. 4, 626 S.E.2d 898, 900 n. 4 (Ct. App. 2006) (“If a defendant presents evidence after the denial of his directed verdict motion at the close of the [plaintiff’s] case, he must make another directed verdict motion at the close of all evidence in order to appeal the sufficiency of the evidence.”); Dodge v. Dodge, 332 S.C. 401, 418, 505 S.E.2d 344, 353 (Ct. App. 1998) (holding an issue not specifically raised in an Rule 59(e), SCRCP, motion for reconsideration was not preserved for review); Fickling v. City of Charleston, 372 S.C. 597, 601, 643 S.E.2d 110, 112 (Ct. App. 1997) (viewing a motion in a non-jury case as a directed verdict motion where the parties treated the motion as a directed verdict motion and noting a trial court’s ruling on an issue becomes the law of the case where the appellant fails to take exception to it both before the trial court and on appeal); Ducworth v. Neely, 319 S.C. 158, 159 n.1, 459 S.E.2d 896, 897 n.1 (Ct. App. 1995) (providing the motion styled directed verdict was instead a motion for dismissal under Rule 41(b) because it was a non-jury action).

2.  As to whether the trial court erred in granting judgment against Lewis and denying her counterclaim: Butler Contracting, Inc., v. Court Street, LLC, 369 S.C. 121, 127, 631 S.E.2d 252, 255 (2006) (holding in an action at law tried without a jury, the court’s findings of fact will be upheld on appeal when reasonably supported by the evidence); Slack v. James, 356 S.C. 479, 482, 589 S.E.2d 772, 774 (Ct. App. 2003) (“The recipient of a fraudulent misrepresentation of fact is justified in relying on its truth, although he might have discovered its falsity through investigation.”); Bivens v. Watkins, 313 S.C. 228, 230-35, 437 S.E.2d 132, 133-36 (Ct. App. 1993) (applying a legal standard of review on appeal from causes of action alleging negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty and holding the “judging of the credibility of witnesses and the weighing of evidence in a law case are uniquely functions of the trial court”); AMA Management Corp. v. Strasburger, 309 S.C. 213, 222, 420 S.E.2d 868, 874 (Ct. App. 1992) (holding to establish liability for negligent misrepresentation, the plaintiff must show: “(1) the defendant made a false representation to the plaintiff; (2) the defendant had a pecuniary interest in making the representation; (3) the defendant owed a duty of care to see that he communicated truthful information to the plaintiff; (4) the defendant breached that duty by failing to exercise due care; (5) the plaintiff justifiably relied on the representation; and (6) the plaintiff suffered a pecuniary loss as the proximate result of his reliance upon the representation.”).   

3.  As to whether the trial court erred in awarding Atlantic its award of the security deposit: Staubes v. City of Folly Beach, 339 S.C. 406, 412, 529 S.E.2d 543, 546 (2000) (holding an issue cannot be raised for the first time on appeal, but must have been raised to and ruled upon by the trial court to be preserved for appellate review); State v. Nelson, 331 S.C. 1, 6 n. 6, 501 S.E.2d 716, 718 n. 6 (1998) (“[T]he ultimate goal behind preservation of error rules is to insure that an issue raised on appeal has first been addressed to and ruled on by the trial court.”).

AFFIRMED.

HUFF, THOMAS, and LOCKEMY, JJ., concur.


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