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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - December 2010

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.

12-1-2010 - Opinions

4761 - Coake v. Burt

Robert and Susan Coake (the Coakes) argue the trial court erred in granting Kathleen Thomason Davis's (Davis) motion for a directed verdict on their cause of action for violation of the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act (the Disclosure Act). Davis cross-appeals and maintains the trial court erred in failing to award her attorney's fees.

4762 - State v. Franklin

Tache Franklin appeals his convictions for voluntary manslaughter and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime. Franklin argues the trial court erred in admitting his statement into evidence.

12-8-2010 - Opinions

4763 - Jenkins v. Few

In this tort action, a jury found Benjamin Scott Few and Few Farms, Inc. (collectively "Few") liable to Kenneth B. Jenkins for damage to his fertilizer truck and lost profits. On appeal, Few maintains the trial court erred by failing to grant his motions for a directed verdict and in qualifying an expert witness. Few also contends the trial court erred by declining to reduce actual and punitive damages. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

12-15-2010 - Opinions

4764 - Walterboro Community Hospital v. Meacher

In this appeal of a declaratory judgment action, Walterboro Community Hospital, Inc., d/b/a Colleton Medical Center ("Colleton"), contends the circuit court erred in holding that Colleton was not entitled to equitable indemnification for costs it incurred in defending and settling a malpractice action brought by a third party. Colleton also argues that the circuit court erred in finding against Colleton on its breach of contract claim against Carolina Health Specialists, P.A., a/k/a CareFirst Health Specialists ("CareFirst"). We affirm.

4765 - State v. Burgess

Darrell Burgess was convicted of the drug-related murders of David Slice and Kim Fauscette. The trial judge sentenced Burgess to two life sentences for the murders, and five years for possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. Burgess has raised two issues on appeal. First, he challenges the trial judge's decision not to remove a juror who realized after jury selection that the brother of Slice's estranged wife worked for him. Second, he argues the judge violated his constitutional right to present a complete defense by excluding evidence of third party guilt. We affirm.

4766 - State v. Bryant

Thomas T. Bryant, Jr. appeals his murder conviction and sentence of life without the possibility of parole, arguing the trial judge erred in refusing to admit certain evidence and refusing to instruct the jury on the defense of habitation. We reverse and remand for a new trial based on the erroneous refusal to charge defense of habitation.

4767 - Pilgrim v. Eaton

This appeal presents two questions related to workers' compensation. The first is the factual question of whether Rufus Revis is the statutory employer of the claimant, Danny Pilgrim. The answer to this question determines the jurisdiction of the workers' compensation commission. The second is whether the commission committed an error of law in its method of calculating Pilgrim's average weekly wage. We affirm the commission on the first question, but reverse and remand on the second.

12-20-2010 - Opinions

4769 - In The Interest Of Tracy B.

Tracy B. appeals his juvenile convictions for murder, unlawful possession of a handgun, and unlawful possession of a handgun by a minor. He argues that the family court erred in (1) failing to suppress an inculpatory statement he gave to police, (2) failing to find that he acted in self-defense, and (3) denying his motion for a new trial. We affirm.

12-22-2010 - Opinions

4770 - Pridgen v. Ward

Robert Ward, Charles Sheppard, and Karen Hair (the Appellants) appeal the trial court's denial of their motions for directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict with regard to Henry Pridgen's civil conspiracy claim. The Appellants argue (1) they acted at all times within the scope of their employment, (2) Pridgen failed to present evidence of a joint assent by the Appellants to carry out a conspiratorial objective, and (3) they were entitled to immunity under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act.

4771 - Sanderson v. Sanderson

Husband appeals the family court's calculation of alimony, including the imputation of income to him although he was unemployed. Husband also appeals the family court's ruling making alimony and child support retroactive. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

4772 - Luchok v. Vena

In this automobile accident case the jury returned a verdict in an amount significantly below the damages claimed by Plaintiff. The trial judge granted Plaintiff's motion for a new trial nisi additur, but failed to state compelling reasons for doing so. Our court addressed this specific situation on indistinguishable facts in Green v. Fritz, 356 S.C. 566, 590 S.E.2d 39 (Ct. App. 2003). As we did in Green, we reverse and reinstate the jury verdict.

4773 - Consignment Sales v. Tucker Oil Company

In this breach of contract action, Tucker Oil Company (Tucker Oil) argues the trial court erred in finding the existence and breach of a contract with Consignment Sales, LLC. Tucker Oil also maintains the trial court erred in ordering an accounting and declaring it was obligated to continue paying Consignment Sales. We affirm.