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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - June 2011

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.

6-1-2011 - Opinions

4835 - James v. SCDOT

After their expert witness traveled from Ohio to South Carolina for his deposition, Appellants moved to compel the South Carolina Department of Transportation (the Department) to pay the expert's bill for $6,021.10. The circuit court ordered the Department to pay only $2,125. On appeal, Appellants argue the circuit court's decision ignores the mandates of Rules 26(b)(4)(C) and 30(b)(7) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure and constitutes an impermissible judicial correction of the Department's mistake. We reverse and remand for a determination of a reasonable fee for the expert's travel time and travel expenses.

4836 - Wilson v. McDonald

McDonald and Marsha Holt Wilson conceived a child together, but never married. When Wilson learned she was pregnant, McDonald ended the relationship. He did not support Wilson during the pregnancy and was not present for their daughter's birth on June 6, 2005. Wilson named their daughter without McDonald's input, giving the daughter the last name "Wilson."

4837 - Reed v. Pieper

Jennifer Pieper (Mother) appeals from the family court's order awarding custody of the parties' minor child to James Reed (Father). Further, Mother claims the family court erred in failing to grant her attorney's fees and costs. We affirm.

6-8-2011 - Opinions

4838 - Major v. Penn Community Services

In this appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled the master-in-equity properly exercised subject matter jurisdiction in determining Penn Community Services was the fee simple owner of 6.2 acres of real property in Beaufort County.

6-15-2011 - Opinions

4839 - Martinez v. Spartanburg County

In this workers' compensation appeal, Spartanburg County and South Carolina Association of Counties Self-Insurance Fund (Spartanburg County) contend the circuit court erred in concluding the Workers' Compensation Commissioner's (Single Commissioner) order was insufficient to enable appellate review. Further, to the extent the order was sufficient, the circuit court erred in finding Raquel Martinez (Martinez) experienced an "unusual or extraordinary" condition in the course of employment to warrant finding Martinez suffered a compensable mental injury. We agree and reverse.

4840 - Tims v. J.D. Kitts Construction

In this workers' compensation case, J.D. Kitts Construction (Employer) and the South Carolina Home Builders Self-Insured Fund (Carrier) (collectively Appellants) seek review of the circuit court's order affirming a decision of the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission (Commission). The Commission's decision required Appellants to pay medical expenses incurred by Phillip Tims (Claimant) related to heatstroke he suffered while in the care of a home health worker provided by Appellants. We affirm.

4841 - ERIE Insurance v. Winter Construction

The Winter Construction Company ("Winter") appeals the trial court's order granting summary judgment to ERIE Insurance Company ("Erie") and finding the administrative burden provision in a subcontract is an unenforceable penalty. We reverse.

4842 - Grady v. Rider

In this probate action, Carolyn S. Rider (Wife) appeals a probate court order that held $304,082.46 of mutual fund shares were part of the estate of her husband, Charles G. Rider (Decedent). Wife argues the probate court erred in reasoning the shares were not transferred to her as a gift prior to Decedent's death. We affirm.

4843 - State v. Spears

Phillip Lee Spears appeals his convictions for armed robbery, kidnapping, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. Spears argues the trial court erred in: (1) denying his motion to sever his case from his codefendant's case prior to trial; (2) denying his motion to suppress trial testimony and evidence of a gun found in the room where Spears was taken into custody; (3) denying his motion to suppress the in-court identifications of both defendants on the ground that the out-of-court identification process was unduly suggestive; (4) denying his motion to suppress evidence that Spears submits was obtained without a valid search warrant and without valid consent; and (5) denying his motion for a mistrial, which was based on multiple grounds. We affirm.

4844 - ITC Commercial Funding v. Crerar

Alice Crerar appeals the trial court's denial of her motion to set aside a default judgment in favor of ITC Commercial Funding, LLC.

6-22-2011 - Opinions

4845 - Southeastern Site Prep v. Atlantic Coast Builders

Southeastern Site Prep, LLC, Southeastern Property Development, LLC, Steve Desimone, and Thomas Viljac filed this action against Atlantic Coast Builders and Contractors, LLC, and James N. Richardson, Jr. At the conclusion of the case, Defendants moved for sanctions, which the trial court denied. We affirm.

4846 - Regions Bank v. Wingard Properties

This appeal arises out of an order awarding Respondent Ray Covington a first priority equitable lien superior to the mortgage of Appellant Regions Bank. We affirm.

4847 - Smith v. Regional Medical Center

The parents of Samuel G. Smith, Jr., brought a negligence claim on behalf of themselves and their minor child (collectively the Smiths) for the treatment Smith received from The Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties (TRMC), a governmental entity under the Tort Claims Act (TCA). The Smiths appeal the trial court's granting of partial summary judgment to TRMC based on its finding that a governmental hospital cannot be held liable for the negligent acts or omissions of an independent contractor, as prescribed by the TCA. The Smiths argue TRMC should be held liable under a nondelegable duty of care owed by a hospital. We affirm.