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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - October 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.

10-2-2006 - Opinions

4155 - EFCO v. Renaissance on Charleston Harbor

EFCO Corporation appeals an award of attorney fees and costs to Renaissance on Charleston Harbor, LLC in this mechanic's lien action.

4156 - State v. Rikard

Appellant appeals her plea of guilty to felony driving under the influence causing death and felony driving under the influence causing great bodily injury. She asserts the circuit court judge erred in refusing to allow her to withdraw her guilty plea.

4157 - Sanders v. MeadWestvaco Corporation

In this workers' compensation action, MeadWestvaco Corporation appeals the circuit cout's order affirming teh Appellate Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission awarding Kenneth Sanders permanent partial disability to his lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint (SI joint). MeadWestvaco also appeal the circuit court's failure to find it was entitled to credit for overpayment of temporary total disability from the date Sanders reached maximum medical improvement. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

4158 - LaFrance v. LaFrance

In this domestic action, Michael Leo LaFrance (“Husband”) appeals the family court’s imputation of income, division of marital assets, calculation of child support, and award of attorney’s fees. Claire Elizabeth Mouton LaFrance (“Wife”) cross appeals the family court’s awarding Husband a share in the future profits from the sale of the marital home, classifying Wife’s jewelry as marital property, and issuing the Supplemental Order dated September 29, 2004 that required each party to share guardian ad litem fees. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

10-9-2006 - Opinions

4159 - State v. Curry

Curry appeals his convictions for murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, arguing the trial court erred by: (1) limiting the scope of Curry's cross-examination of two co-defendants, and (2) charging the jury on "the hand of one is the hand of all." The majority affirms Curry's conviction, and Judge Anderson dissents.

4160 - Auten v. Snipes

This appeal concerns whether a separation agreement between the defendant and her now deceased former husband had the effect of extinguishing any interest the defendant had in the decedent's IRA account.

4161 - Evans v. Stewart and Cusack

In this tort action, James F. Evans sued Blake C. Stewart and Blake’s mother, Melony A. Cusack, seeking damages arising from an automobile accident in which Evans was a passenger in a car driven by Stewart. Evans appeals from the trial court’s order granting summary judgment to Cusack finding there was no basis to support Cusack’s liability under the family purpose doctrine.

4162 - Reed-Richards v. Clemson University

This appeal concerns whether a workers' compensation claimant is entitled to lifetime benefits because of a workplace injury resulting in a diagnosis of incomplete paraplegia.

10-16-2006 - Opinions

4163 - Walsh v. Woods

This appeal concerns whether Wife II may be awarded surviving spouse benefits through her deceased husband’s retirement plan, even though Husband’s attempt to change the beneficiary of his benefits to Wife II did not become legally effective and Wife II did not marry Husband until after he retired.

4164 - Albertson v. Robinson

This appeal involves a claim of a fraudulent conveyance pursuant to the Statute of Elizabeth, as codified in section 27-23-10 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2005). The trial court found the challenged transfer of real property from Brian Robinson to his then wife, Maureen Robinson, was not a fraudulent transfer. The judgment creditors appeal, and we reverse and remand.

4165 - Ex Parte: Johnson v. Moore

A property was sold, by way of court order, subject to the successful bidder paying the past due property taxes and assessments. The successful bidder sought to defeat the order and avoid responsibility for the taxes. The Master followed the order. We affirm.

10-23-2006 - Opinions

4166 - Hall v. United Rentals

In this Workers’ Compensation case, appellants allege error on the part of the Circuit Court in affirming the Commission’s conclusion that the Employer/Carrier is responsible for the medical treatment provided by Drs. Wingate, Vial, Khoury and any other physicians with reference to the Claimant’s back injury, brachial plexopathy, and collapsed diaphragm. The Claimant responds that there is substantial evidence in the record to support the decision of the Commission because: (a) the treatment sought by the Claimant was required due to the deterioration of Claimant’s spine and his intractable pain; (b) the treatment received by Claimant was necessary and gave “relief” and tended to “lessen the period of disability.”

4167 - Frierson v. Watson

David L. Watson appeals from an order of the circuit court granting the Friersons an easement by grant and an easement by prescription for the use of a hallway adjoining two buildings.

4168 - Huggins v. Metts

In reviewing the grant of summary judgement to Respondent Sheriff Metts (the Police), the S.C. Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the South Carolina Tort Claims Act (the Act) bestows immunity from suit upon the police as to the methods they choose to utilize in providing police protection. Because this cause of action was governed under the Act, the court did not address Appellant's grounds for appeal.

4169 - State v. Snowdon

In this criminal case, the court affirms the trial court, concluding that Snowdon has waived and is collaterally estopped from asserting any constitutionally-based objections to his arrest for breach of the peace in a subsequent trial, having pled guilty to the breach of the peace charge in magistrate court.

10-30-2006 - Opinions

4170 - Ligon v. Norris

In this breach of contract action, the court concludes there is sufficient evidence to justify the jury's verdict, and therefore reinstates the award that was set aside by the trial court.

4171 - Rutland v. Holler, et al.

Appellant appeals the circuit court's order awarding attorney's fees and costs to the Respondents pursuant to the South Carolina Frivolous Civil Proceedings Sanctions Act.

4172 - State v. Roberson

Appellant, who was tried in absentia and without counsel for the charge of failing to register as a sex offender, appeals the circuit court's denial of his motion for a new trial

4173 - O’Leary-Payne v. R.R. Hilton Head

In this negligence action, R.R. Hilton Head, II, Inc. and Charter Oak Group, Ltd, appeal (1) the trial court's denial of their motion for a directed verdict; (2) the trial court's decision to strke the defense of assumption of the risk; and (3) the trial court's refusal to allow them to argue third party liability in their closing argument.