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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - November 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.

11-7-2012 - Opinions

5047 - Canteen v. McLeod Regional Medical Center

Jennette Canteen appeals from the circuit court's order affirming the Workers' Compensation Commission's Appellate Panel's finding that she did not suffer a brain injury, arguing the circuit court erred by: (1) failing to find Canteen suffered from an asymptomatic Chiari I Malformation prior to July 2, 2001; (2) failing to find Canteen's injury aggravated her previously asymptomatic Chiari I Malformation; (3) finding no medical doctor provided evidence Canteen suffered a physical brain injury and disregarding the medical doctors' evidence; (4) disregarding evidence of Canteen's physical brain damage from herself and three neuropsychologists; (5) finding Dr. Kenneth Kammer's testimony concerning brain damage was equivocal; (6) failing to affirm the Single Commissioner's finding that evidence proved Canteen's physical brain damage was causally related to Canteen's work injury, (7) finding substantial evidence supported the Appellate Panel's decision; and (8) failing to affirm the Single Commissioner's award of lifetime compensation and lifetime medical care. We reverse and remand to the Appellate Panel.

11-14-2012 - Opinions

5034 - State v. Niles

In this criminal appeal, the Court of Appeals reverses the circuit court for failing to charge the jury on voluntary manslaughter. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the defendant, the Court concluded a jury could find the defendant acted in a heat of passion upon sufficent legal provocation, thus entitling him to a jury charge on voluntary manslaughter.

5046 - State v. Samuel

In this appeal, the State argues the trial court erred in suppressing a statement by Samuel when the trial court found the statement to be voluntary and admissible. The State claims there is no basis in the record for the trial court's decision, and the trial court's failure to exercise any discretion constituted an abuse of its discretion. Samuel cross-appeals the trial court's denial of her motion to suppress four other statements provided by her to law enforcement. She maintains that the statements were taken in violation of her Miranda rights.

5048 - State v. Bonner

John Bendarian Bonner appeals his sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for a burglary he committed while he was a juvenile, arguing the sentence is in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.

5049 - Paine Gayle Properties v. CSX Transportation

Appellant Paine Gayle Properties, LLC (Paine Gayle) brought this action against Respondent CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSX), seeking an order establishing an easement under a railroad trestle owned by CSX. Paine Gayle and CSX filed cross-motions for summary judgment, and the circuit court granted summary judgment to CSX. Paine Gayle seeks review of this order.

5050 - Lewis v. Lewis

Brian Randolph Lewis (Husband) appeals the order of the family court asserting the court erred in (1) awarding child support based upon an imputed monthly income to him of $2,900.00, (2) failing to award the parties joint custody of their minor child or, alternatively, failing to award Husband more than standard visitation, (3) finding Husband's therapy counselor was unaware of certain matters involving Husband, and (4) requiring each party to pay his or her own attorney fees.

11-21-2012 - Opinions

5051 - Riley v. Green

Willie Riley sought to quiet title to one parcel of real property, and Ulysses Green defended the action claiming he intended to convey another parcel. The master-in-equity found that a fair "compromise" was to order them to sell both parcels of land, use the proceeds to reimburse themselves for property taxes and other expenses, and then evenly split any remaining proceeds. Neither Riley nor Green asked for or agreed to the relief the master ordered. We reverse and remand.

5052 - State v. Donahue

Michael Donahue pled guilty to burglary in the third degree. He appeals his sentence, arguing the circuit court erred in treating him as a second offender based on his previous burglary conviction in Georgia. We affirm.

11-27-2012 - Opinions

5037 - Johnson v. Jackson

In this Workers' Compensation appeal, Benjamin Johnson (Johnson) argues the circuit court erred in finding Palmetto Hospital owed no duty of due care to Johnson when Palmetto Hospital coordinated the pick-up of computers at its facility and directed workers, including Johnson, to park and load the computers on a no-parking yellow curb. Additionally, Johnson argues the circuit court erred in finding Johnson was a statutory employee of Tantara Transportation, Inc., under the Workers Compensation Act; and thus, Tantara Transportation, Inc., and Daniel Harpster qualified for tort immunity under the Workers' Compensation Act against Johnson's claim of negligence.

11-28-2012 - Opinions

5053 - State v. Gilliland

Thomas E. Gilliland appeals his convictions for violating an order of protection and first-degree burglary. He argues the trial court erred in declining to direct a verdict of acquittal on the first-degree burglary charge. He further argues that if the trial court did not err in declining to direct a verdict, it erred by refusing to give a jury charge on trespass as a lesser included offense of burglary.

5054 - Thalia S. v. Progressive Select Insurance

This appeal involves a dispute over insurance coverage and whether Respondent Progressive Select Insurance Company should be obligated to pay for injuries sustained by Appellants. On appeal, Appellants argue the insurance policy provides bodily injury liability coverage.

5055 - Rivera v. Newton

Respondent was a passenger in a car which struck a logging truck. Appellants appeal the trial court's grant of Respondent's motion for a new trial when the trial court refused Respondent's request for an order holding one of the two Appellants had to be liable and when the trial court permitted a verdict form, over Respondent's objections, indicating the jury could find in favor of both Appellants.

5056 - Park Regency v. R&D Development

In this suit arising from a dispute among members of a limited liability company, the trial court dissociated Respondents from the company and ordered Appellants to pay Respondents their distributional interest. Appellants contend the trial court erred in (1) failing to consider the company's legal obligation to repay debts to its remaining members and other relevant and undisputed evidence when valuing Respondents' distributional interest and (2) treating the dissociated member's liability to the other members as an offset to the fair value of its distributional interest instead of entering a judgment against the dissociated member.

5057 - Swilling v. Pride Masonry

Terry Scott Swilling, Employee/Claimant, filed this workers' compensation action against Pride Masonry of Gaffney, Employer, and Central Mutual Insurance Company, Carrier (Pride). Pride appeals, arguing error in: (1) the calculation of Swilling's average weekly wage; (2) the finding of permanent and total disability; (3) the finding that an injury to Swilling's leg was proximately caused by his work-related injury; and (4) the award of a lump sum payment.