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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - January 2012

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.

1-4-2012 - Opinions

4926 - Dinkins v. Lowe's Home Centers

In this worker's compensation action, Henry Dinkins appeals the circuit court's decision that there is substantial evidence in the record to support the Appellate Panel of the Worker's Compensation Commission's (Appellate Panel) finding he is not entitled to total disability pursuant to section 42-9-10 of the South Carolina Code (1985). Specifically, Dinkins contends the Appellate Panel erred in (1) finding section 42-9-400 of the South Carolina Code (1985 & Supp. 2005) inapplicable; (2) finding Dinkins is only entitled to compensation under section 42-9-30 of the South Carolina Code (1985); and (3) failing to rule on whether Dinkins' proof of diligent efforts to secure employment establishes a total loss of earnings under section 42-9-10. Dinkins also argues the circuit court erred in failing to remand the case with instructions to make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law affirmatively addressing total disability proven by unsuccessful "diligent efforts to secure employment." We affirm.

4927 - State v. Johnson

Respondent, John Porter Johnson, was convicted in magistrate court of driving under the influence (DUI). The circuit court reversed Johnson's conviction based on an alleged insufficiency in the number of potential jurors from which to draw a jury for Johnson's trial in magistrate court. We reverse the circuit court order and reinstate Johnson's conviction.

1-18-2012 - Opinions

4928 - State v. Fripp

Gerald Fripp appeals his conviction for second-degree burglary arguing the trial court erred in permitting State's witnesses to testify the burglar appearing on a surveillance videotape was him. Fripp alleges the trial court made several other erroneous evidentiary rulings. We affirm.

1-25-2012 - Opinions

4929 - Kelley v. Snyder

In this land dispute involving a road on Thelease Kelley's property that leads to the property of Lee Snyder and his father Harry Snyder (Respondents), Kelley appeals the master's order granting Respondents a prescriptive easement to use the road "for ingress and egress" from their property to a public road.

4930 - Jervey v. Martint Environmental

Martint Environmental, Inc. (Martint) and General Casualty Insurance Company (collectively, Appellants) appeal the circuit court's order vacating in part and affirming in part the order of the Appellate Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission, arguing the court erred in finding: (1) section 42-9-260 of the South Carolina Code is a time bar for raising a defense against compensability; (2) William Jervey could raise both waiver and laches as affirmative defenses; and (3) Jervey suffered from a compensable injury by accident in the course and scope of his employment.

4931 - Fuller v. Fuller

In this domestic relations matter, Wife appeals the decision of the family court judge granting Husband a reduction in alimony, asserting the family court erred in focusing only on Husband's age and excluding relevant evidence. We reverse and remand, finding the family court committed an error of law in excluding relevant evidence, failing to consider relevant factors, and reducing husband's alimony based solely on Husband's age.

4932 - Black v. Lexington County Board of Zoning Appeals

Margie Kay Black appeals the circuit court's affirmation of the Lexington County Board of Zoning Appeals' (Board) approval of Reitech, LLC's application for a zoning variance.

4933 - Fettler v. Gentner

In this civil action for negligence and damages as a result of a vehicular accident, Elizabeth Fettler argues the trial court erred in (1) denying her motion for a directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) on the issue of Frederick Gentner's negligence, and (2) presenting an erroneous and prejudicial charge to the jury as a result of the denial of her directed verdict motion.

4934 - State v. Galimore

In this criminal action resulting from a vehicular accident, Rodney Galimore contends the trial court erred in (1) denying his motion for a directed verdict on the charge of felony DUI; (2) denying his motion for a directed verdict on the charge of child endangerment; and (3) granting the State a continuance for three indictments after quashing one indictment for felony DUI.

4935 - Ranucci v. Crain

Three years after suffering a collapsed lung following a medical procedure, Shannon Ranucci filed a Notice of Intent to File Suit (Notice) against Corey K. Crain, M.D. Ranucci subsequently filed an affidavit of a medical expert. The circuit court granted Dr. Crain's motion to dismiss Ranucci's Notice for failure to file the medical expert's affidavit timely. Ranucci appeals, arguing the circuit court erred in finding the affidavit of her medical expert was not timely filed and in reading sections 15-79-125 and 15-36-100 of the South Carolina Code independently of each other. We affirm. (Few, C.J., concurring separately.)

4936 - Mullarkey v. Mullarkey

The primary issue in this appeal is whether a spouse's entire military retirement benefits, including those earned after the issuance of a final order of separate support and maintenance, are subject to equitable division.