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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - January 2009

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.

1-8-2009 - Opinions

4476 - Bartley v. Allendale County School District

In this worker’s compensation action, Sandra Bartley appeals the Appellate Panel’s failure to find her totally and permanently disabled, arguing it failed to consider the combined effects of a workplace injury and a pre-existing problem. We affirm.

4477 - Ex Parte: Mamie L. Jackson

Mamie Jackson appeals the trial court's decision to hold her in contempt and her ninety-day imprisonment sentence. We reverse.

1-12-2009 - Opinions

4478 - Turner v. Milliman

In this fraud and negligent misrepresentation action, the Turners appeal from the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurance agent and several insurance companies. The Court of Appeals held the trial court erred in finding the statute of limitations had expired, but affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment because the insurance agent's representations were not actionable as a matter of law.

4479 - State v. Muquit

Muquit appeals his convictions and sentences, arguing the circuit court erred in admitting into evidence clothing seized from his personal effects following his arrest.

4480 - Moore v. Barony House Restaurant

In this products liability case concerning used golf cars, Moore and Stroud, as personal representatives of the estate of Brandon Stroud, appeal the granting of summary judgment to Textron, Inc., doing business as E-Z-Go Golf Cars. We affirm finding the dangers posed by driving an unlighted golf car on a public highway at night are open and obvious thereby precluding plaintiffs' strict liability and negligence claims.

4481 - Time Warner Cable v. Condo Services

A jury awarded Time Warner Cable (Time Warner) damages for a breach of contract after Condo Services, Inc., d/b/a Renaissance Enterprises, Inc. (REI), failed to pay Time Warner monies owed under the parties’ contract. The circuit court subsequently ordered REI to allow Time Warner to continue providing services to REI’s customers for the remaining term of the contract and required Time Warner to credit twenty percent of its revenues for video services during this time toward the balance owed by REI on the jury’s damages award. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

4482 - Serowski v. Serowski

This is an appeal from an order granting modification of alimony and reducing appellant's permanent periodic alimony obligation from $1,750.00 to $1,500.00 per month. On appeal, Ronald Serowski (Husband) alleges the family court erred in: (1) failing to eliminate, or alternatively, failing to further reduce his alimony obligation based upon the parties' alleged change in circumstances; (2) modifying the court's decision as set forth in the initial memorandum instructions to counsel and considering improper ex parte communications from counsel for respondent; (4) relying on the findings of the original divorce decree; and (5) failing to award attorney's fees. We affirm.

4483 - Carpenter v. Burr

In this action for divorce, the wife appeals the family court's failure to find physical cruelty against the husband, the court's finding that certain medical and dental expenses were not incurred for marital purposes, the court's refusal to order the husband to reimburse her for certain expenses, and court's finding that the marital residence was not subject to either equitable division or a special equity in her favor, the denial of alimony, and the assessment of attorney's fees against her.

4484 - Chastain v. Chastain

Chastity Chastain (Wife) appeals from an order of the family court awarding custody of her three children to Tyson Chastain (Husband) and requiring her to pay $2,500 in private investigator fees. Wife alleges, inter alia, that the family court judge erred in holding she engaged in flagrant promiscuity. We disagree with the family court’s holding as to flagrant promiscuity but affirm the underlying action.

4485 - Oakwood Landfill, Inc. v. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

Oakwood Landfill, Inc. and Hickory Hill Landfill appeal two orders of the South Carolina Board of Health and Environmental Control affirming a landfill permit issued to T & T Disposal, LLC by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

1-13-2009 - Opinions

4486 - South Carolina Department of Transportation v. Hood

In this condemnation action, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (the Department) argues the circuit court erred in admitting evidence of an option held by Fairfield County to purchase Gloria Hood’s property. We reverse and remand. We hold an expired and unexercised option contract is essentially an unaccepted offer; thus, the circuit court erred in admitting evidence of Fairfield County’s option.

1-22-2009 - Opinions

4487 - Chastain v. Joyner

In this civil case, we determine whether a realtor has a legal duty to investigate defects in property or advise its clients on matters outside its expertise.

1-27-2009 - Opinions

4488 - Pack v. SCDOT

In this action for workers' compensation, Appellants appeal (a) the circuit court's decision to reverse the Workers' Compensation Commission's ruling that Claimant has not suffered a brain injury; and (b) the circuit court's decision to affirm the Workers' Compensation Commission's ruling that Claimant has suffered respiratory and psychological injury.

4489 - Skipper v. Perrone

Gloria N. Perrone and Carol Repec Perrone, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Joel E. Perrone appeal the order of the special referee setting aside a deed on the ground of undue influence.

4490 - Widener v. Fort Mill Ford

David J. Widener brought this action against Fort Mill Ford and WFS Financial (WFS) alleging violations of the South Carolina Regulation of Manufacturers, Distributors, and Dealers Act, sections 56-15-10 to -600 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2007) (the Dealers Act), and the Unfair Trade Practices Act, sections 39-5-10 to -560 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2007). In response, Fort Mill Ford moved to dismiss or stay the proceeding and to compel arbitration. After a hearing, the trial court dismissed the action, holding

4491 - Payne v. Payne

Sherry Ann Payne (Mother) appeals from a family court order transferring custody of her minor son, Joshua Michael Payne, to William John Payne (Father). We affirm.

1-28-2009 - Opinions

4492 - State v. Parker

In October of 2003, Parker stood trial for murder before Judge Hayes. The jury twice reported to Judge Hayes its inability to reach a unanimous verdict. Judge Hayes granted Parker’s motion for a mistrial. When Parker was tried again in 2005 before Judge Few, he moved to dismiss based on double jeopardy. Judge Few denied the motion and the jury convicted Parker of murder. Parker appeals his murder conviction arguing Judge Few erred in denying his motion to dismiss based on double jeopardy.

4493 - Mazloom v. Mazloom

The Court of Appeals affirmed the Master-in-Equity's finding that Iraj Mazloom owned a 25% interest in the business at issue. The Court also affirmed the master's decision to award Iraj both actual and punitive damages, but the Court modified the actual damages award to reflect the proper fair market value of the business.

4495 - State v. Bodenstedt

James W. Bodenstedt, Jr. appealed the plea judge’s decision to increase his sentence from six to eight years’ imprisonment, contending that the plea judge erred by increasing his sentence, instead of finding him in contempt of court for his disruptive behavior after sentencing. We agree that the plea judge should have held Bodenstedt in contempt of court and we reverse and remand for reinstatement of the original six-year sentence.

4496 - Blackburn v. TKT and Associates, Inc.

Minority shareholders, Kent Blackburn and Allison Minnich, appeal an order denying their objections to a court-ordered appraisal of common stock of Respondent, TKT and Associates, Inc., (TKT) for the purpose of a shareholder buyout. We affirm.

1-30-2009 - Opinions

4494 - Ex Parte: Janice S. Wheeler

Edward Reynolds, Thomas and Betty Considine, Lois Considine, and Briarcliffe Acres Association (collectively Beneficiaries), as well as Jennifer Powers (collectively hereinafter referred to as Appellants) contend the circuit court erred in reversing the probate court's finding that Janice Wheeler breached her fiduciary duty to Beneficiaries by failing to consider other offers to purchase property under her control as personal representative (PR). We affirm.