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2009-UP-189 - Springs Industries v. SC Second Injury Fund

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

Springs Industries, Appellant,

v.

South Carolina Second Injury Fund, Appellant.

In Re:

George Baker, Employee, Claimant,

v.

Springs Industries, Employer and Self-Insured Carrier, Respondent.


Appeal From York County
Lee S. Alford, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2009-UP-189
Submitted April 1, 2009 – Filed May 5, 2009   


AFFIRMED


Bradley H. Smith, of Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellant.

Latonya Dilligard Edwards, of Columbia, for Respondent. 

PER CURIAM:  Springs Industries, Inc., (Employer) sought reimbursement from the South Carolina Second Injury Fund for monies Employer paid to employee George Baker for a back injury that followed a right hip injury.  Employer now appeals from the order of the circuit court affirming the Appellate Panel's denial of reimbursement.  We affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following authorities: 

1.  As to whether the circuit court erred in finding the agreement for reimbursement of monies paid for Baker's hip injury was unambiguous and did not cover future injuries to body parts not expressly named in the agreement:  Baxter v. Martin Bros., Inc., 368 S.C. 510, 513, 630 S.E.2d 42, 43 (2006) (limiting reviewing court's scrutiny to whether Appellate Panel's findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence and whether its decision is affected by an error of law); Silver v. Aabstract Pools & Spas, Inc., 376 S.C. 585, 591, 658 S.E.2d 539, 542 (Ct. App. 2008) (holding whether the language of a contract is ambiguous is a question of law to be determined by the court by examining the entire contract and not merely whether certain phrases taken in isolation could be interpreted in more than one way, requiring the intent of the parties to be gleaned from the clear and unequivocal language of the contract, and prohibiting courts from inserting words into a contract expressing an intent wholly omitted by the parties upon execution thereof). 

2.  As to whether the circuit court erred in declining to construe the agreement to provide for reimbursement for future injuries that are the natural consequence of Baker's hip injury, our above holding renders this issue moot:  Mathis v. S.C. State Highway Dep't, 260 S.C. 344, 346, 195 S.E.2d 713, 715 (1973) (holding an issue is moot when a judgment rendered by the court will have no practical legal effect upon an existing controversy and declining to address moot or academic questions). 

AFFIRMED.

SHORT, THOMAS, and GEATHERS, JJ., concur.


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