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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - January 2006

Note: Beginning in June 2012, opinions will be posted as Adobe PDFs. You can download a free copy of Adobe Reader here.

The summary following each opinion is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what a particular opinion decides. The summary is not necessarily a full description of the issues discussed in an opinion.

1-9-2006 - Opinions

4066 - State v. Funderburk

In this criminal case, following a conviction for trafficking in cocaine, Funderburk appeals the admission of certain evidence.

4067 - Underwood v. Coponen

Laurine Coponen ran through a stop sign at an intersection and collided with David Underwood’s car. Underwood brought an action against Carolyn Webb, the personal representative of Ansel Taylor’s estate, alleging Taylor was negligent in failing to trim a tree located on his property, thereby contributing to the accident. The trial court granted Webb’s motion for summary judgment, which Underwood now appeals.

4068 - McDill v. Mark’s Auto Sales, Inc.

Gerri B. McDill appeals from a jury verdict in favor of the defendants in this auto accident case, arguing the trial court abused its discretion in failing to qualify a trooper as an expert in accident reconstruction and to allow his opinion testimony regarding the cause of the accident.

4069 - State v. Patterson

Appellant was convicted of murder. The issues on appeal are: (1) did the judge err by ruling a witness’s entire statement to the police could be read to the jury under Rule 106, SCRE; (2) did the judge err by refusing to instruct the jury on causation and/or proximate cause where there was evidence the victim was taken off of a respirator and her feeding tube removed; and (3) did the judge err by ruling Appellant could not waive his presence during a witness’s testimony.

4070 - Tomlinson v. Mixon

Appellant All American Homes of NC, LLC argues the trial court erred in not requiring the respondents, Elwood and Frances Tomlinson, to elect their remedy after the jury returned a verdict in their favor on claims for negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.

1-17-2006 - Opinions

4071 - State v. Covert

Kevin Covert appeals his convictions for possession with intent to distribute cocaine in proximity of a school and trafficking in cocaine. Covert argues the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress evidence due to a defective search warrant, allowing improper closing arguments, and using an unusual verdict form.

4072 - McDill v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company appeal the trial court's order that reformed automobile insurance policies issued to Moffet and Gerri McDill to add underinsured motorist coverage.

4073 - Gillman v. City of Beaufort

Esther Gillman appeals the trial court’s ruling, dismissing her claim for negligence against the South Carolina Department of Transportation and the State of South Carolina.

4074 - Schnellmann v. Roettger

Affirms the grant of summary judgment for a listing agent on claims of negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and unfair trade practices, which were based on the contention she misstated the square footage of a residence for sale.

1-23-2006 - Opinions

4075 - State v. Douglas

In this criminal case, Appellant was indicted for the offenses of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the first degree and committing a lewd act upon a minor. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the charge of criminal sexual conduct with a minor; however, the appellant was found guilty of committing a lewd act upon a minor. On appeal, Appellant presents two issues: (1) whether the circuit judge erred by qualifying a police officer in the field of “forensic interviewing”; and (2) whether the circuit judge erred in refusing to allow testimony that the alleged child victim had lied in the past.

4076 - State v. Middleton

In this criminal case, the court concludes that the crawl space of a commercial building is a part of the "building" for purposes of the burglary statute.

4077 - Love v. Love

In this domestic matter, Wife appeals the termination of her alimony. The court affirms, holding the parties' separation agreement granted the family court the authority to modify alimony, even to the point of termination.

4078 - Stokes v. Spartanburg Regional Medical Center

In this medical malpractice action, Terry Lee Stokes, representative of Jennings E. Stokes's estate, appeals from a jury verdict in favor of Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. Appellant argues the trial judge erred in failing to instruct the jury that it could draw a negative inference from the Hospital's faillure to preserve critical pieces of medical evidence. We reverse and remand.

4079 - State v. Bailey

The State appeals the circuit court's decision to overturn Bailey's magistrate court conviction for disorderly conduct.

1-30-2006 - Opinions

4080 - Lukich v. Lukich

Phyllis J. Lukich (Wife) appeals the family court’s order barring her from using her decree of annulment of a prior marriage as a defense against George P. Lukich’s (Husband) complaint to void their marriage as bigamous. Wife also contends the family court erred by holding Husband “technically in contempt” but ruling Husband did not have to comply with the temporary order pending the outcome of his motion to vacate that order.