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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - May 2013

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.

5-1-2013 - Opinions

5062 - Duke Energy v. SCDHEC

In this administrative action, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) appeals the administrative law court's (ALC) decision, arguing that the ALC erred in finding: (1) DHEC's review of Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC's (Duke) water quality certification application was not timely and (2) DHEC waived its right to issue a water quality certification to Duke. American Rivers and South Carolina Coastal Conservation League (Coastal Conservation) (collectively Conservation Groups) also appeal the ALC's decision and contend the ALC erred in: (1) refusing to give effect to Regulation 61-30; (2) finding DHEC's decision untimely; (3) misconstruing Regulation 61-101; (4) ignoring facts that showed Duke was estopped from arguing DHEC's decision was untimely; and (5) failing to find that Duke waived any challenge to DHEC's certification decision and the State's certification authority. We reverse and remand.

5120 - Castine v. Castine

In this defamation case, David Castine (David) appeals the circuit court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Frances Castine (Frances). He argues he presented sufficient evidence of the truth of the allegedly defamatory statements to withstand summary judgment. Furthermore, he contends the circuit court erred in finding his communications as a citizen regarding a public employee were not privileged. Finally, David argues the circuit court erred in finding he acted with malice as a matter of law.

5121 - State v. Pradubsri

In this criminal appeal, Jo Pradubsri contends the trial court erred in refusing to permit cross-examination of a witness, Melisa Martin, regarding her potential legal exposure from her initial charges prior to accepting the State's plea offer. We reverse and remand.

5122 - McNeil v. SCDC

Ammie McNeil appeals from the trial court's order granting the South Carolina Department of Corrections' (SCDC) motion to dismiss McNeil's claims for due process violations, public policy discharge, and defamation.

5123 - Inglese v. Erickson

Mario Inglese and Mario Inglese, P.C. appeal the circuit court's finding that Inglese was not entitled to recover from his client Carl Beal, Jr. the $10,000 he paid to his title insurance company pursuant to a subrogation action because the circuit court erred in granting Beal's motion for summary judgment on Inglese's unjust enrichment and equitable indemnity causes of action.

5124 - Penza v. Pendleton Station

Angelo Penza contends the master erred in granting partial summary judgment to Enterprise Bank because there was a question of fact as to whether his mortgage was intended to cover Tract A in addition to Tract B. He also argues the master's order essentially reformed the original mortgage, which was error because before an instrument may be reformed there must be a showing of mutual mistake. We reverse and remand.

5125 - State v. Martin

Anthony Martin appeals his convictions for armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, arguing the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence of flight. We affirm.

5126 - Chakrabarti v. City of Orangeburg

In this negligence and inverse condemnation case, the City of Orangeburg appeals, arguing the trial court erred in: (1) concluding its demolition of Ajoy and Sukla Chakrabarti's house amounted to inverse condemnation requiring payment of just compensation; (2) denying its motions for a directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the causes of action for gross negligence and sovereign immunity; and (3) awarding two distinct damage amounts on the two causes of action. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

5127 - Gibson v. Wright

In this medical malpractice action, the Estate of James E. Gibson, III appeals the trial court's (1) admission of summaries as evidence, (2) failure to grant a mistrial after Christopher C. Wright, M.D. asked about Gibson's social security benefits, and (3) excluding as hearsay Gibson's questions to Dr. Wright about an another doctor's deposition. We affirm.

5-2-2013 - Opinions

5129 - SCDSS v. Cameron N. F. L.

Cameron N.F.L. (Mother) appeals the family court's order terminating her parental rights to her minor child. We hold termination of parental rights is not in the child's best interest, and we reverse and remand.

5-8-2013 - Opinions

5128 - State v. Jolly

The State appeals the circuit court's dismissal of two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses against Robert Steve Jolly based on double jeopardy. The State contends the circuit court erred in finding Jolly's being held in criminal contempt for the same conduct precluded his prosecution because the offenses were not identical and required proof of different elements. We reverse and remand.

5130 - Pulliam v. Travelers Indemnity

Traveler's Indemnity Company appeals the circuit court's finding that damages for remediation of defective construction to common elements in Kensington Place Horizontal Property Regime were covered by a directors and officers policy issued to the Regime's property owner's association. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

5-15-2013 - Opinions

5131 - Proctor v. Whitlark

Whitlark & Whitlark, Inc. d/b/a Rockaways Athletic Club and Pizza Man, Forrest Whitlark, Paul Whitlark, Charlie E. Bishop, and Brett Blanks (collectively, Appellants) appeal the circuit court's order granting Lauren Proctor's motion for summary judgment, arguing the circuit court erred in finding that the South Carolina legislature has abrogated the doctrine of in pari delicto with regard to losses sustained by illegal gambling. We affirm.

5132 - State v. Lewis

Richard Brandon Lewis appeals his conviction of aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse (aiding and abetting). He argues the trial court erred in (1) failing to direct a verdict in his favor on the charge of aiding and abetting; (2) failing to charge the jury that the State had to prove Lewis had a legal duty to protect Audrina Hepburn (Victim) before a conviction of aiding and abetting could be given; (3) failing to declare a mistrial after a witness testified a statement by Lewis had "the possibility of guilt behind it"; and (4) failing to require the State to open fully on the law and the facts. We reverse.

5-22-2013 - Opinions

5084 - State v. Taylor

Kendrick Taylor appeals his murder conviction, arguing (1) he should have been allowed to question a witness about about certain charges pending against that witness that the State later dismissed and (2) a SLED report proffered by the State should not have been admitted into evidence.

5134 - Richardson v. Piggly Wiggly

Cynthia Richardson appeals the circuit court's reversal of the magistrate court's denial of Piggly Wiggly Central, Inc.'s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV). We affirm.

5135 - MicroClean Technology v. EnviroFix, Inc

In this action for breach of contract, claim and delivery, and quantum meruit arising out of a dispute over a licensing arrangement, plaintiff MicroClean appeals the award of damages for unpaid monthly license fees, the denial of its cause of action for claim and delivery, and the disposition of EnviroFix's counterclaim for breach of contract.

5136 - AnMed Health v. SCDEW

AnMed Health fired Pamela Crowe because she refused to comply with its policy requiring her to get a flu shot. When Crowe applied for unemployment benefits, AnMed claimed it fired her for cause and she was disqualified from receiving benefits. The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce found Crowe was not discharged for cause and therefore was eligible to receive benefits without disqualification. We affirm.