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Supreme Court Published Opinions - February 2005

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.

2-2-2005 - Opinions

25935 - Whaley v. CSX Transportation

The Court reversed the trial court’s ruling denying CSX’s motion to change venue. Moreover, the Court held that the case should have been transferred to Greenwood County on the basis of the convenience of witnesses and the ends of justice. In addition, the Court reversed the trial court’s ruling denying CSX’s motion for JNOV on the LIA claim, but affirmed the denial of CSX’s motion on the FELA claim. The Court also reversed the trial court’s ruling admitting certain evidence regarding other employee complaints and regarding fans, air conditioners, and white-painted roofs on other locomotives. Finally, the case was remanded to Greenwood County to be tried in accordance with the Court’s opinion.

2-7-2005 - Opinions

25936 - Greenwood County Council v. Brooks

In this original jurisdiction case, the Court determined the Greenwood County Council did not have the authority to reduce the salary of an Interim Clerk of Court.

25937 - In the Matter of Judge Hudson

In this opinion, the Court publicly reprimanded a municipal court judge.

25938 - In the Matter of Richland County Magistrate Stocker

In this opinion, the Court publicly reprimanded and definitely suspended a magistrate for thirty days.

2-9-2005 - Orders

ORDER - South Carolina Department of Social Services v. Downer

ORDER - In the Matter of Davis
This is an order placing an attorney on interim suspension.
2-14-2005 - Opinions

25939 - Fields v. Regional Medical Center Orangeburg

In this medical malpractice case, the jury rendered a verdict in favor of the defendant physician. The Court of Appeals reversed and granted the plaintiff a new trial. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that (1) the Court of Appeals properly denied the physician's motion to dismiss the appeal as untimely; (2) the Court of Appeals properly found error in the trial court's exclusion of testimony regarding the qualifications of the plaintiff's expert witness, but the error was not sufficiently prejudicial to warrant reversal of the jury's verdict; and (3) the Court of Appeals properly found error in the trial court's refusal to allow the plaintiff to use a medical treatise to cross-examine the defendant physician, but the error was not sufficiently prejudicial to warrant reversal of the jury's verdict. The Supreme Court affirmed the jury's verdict in favor of the defendant physician.

25940 - Taylor v. Atlantic Beach Election Commission

This case is an appeal from an election protest. The Supreme Court held that (1) the circuit court properly declined to remand the case to the election commission for explicit rulings and a more definitive written order; (2) irregularities associated with the casting and handling of twenty-two challenged ballots did not affect the fundamental integrity of the election and give rise to a violation of the constitutional and statutory right to a secret ballot sufficient to set aside the election results; and (3) remaining issues were not properly preserved for appellate review

25941 - City of Charleston v. Masi

This case involves the City of Charleston's action to determine who is entitled to vote in the James Island Public Service District elections after the incorporation of the Town of James Island. The action is dismissed as moot and the request for attorney's fees by the James Island Public Service District is denied.

2-22-2005 - Opinions

25942 - Spruill v. Richland County School District 2

The Court upholds the interpretation of 25A S.C. Regulation 67-609, which the Workers Compensation Commission found did not permit the claimant to withdraw her Form 50 after the hearing had been held.

25943 - State v. Lewis

This criminal case involves the issues of whether the Court of Appeals erred by affirming the trial court's failure to suppress an in-court identification and by holding the trial court improperly disallowed the defendant's attempt to strike a juror who was previously stricken in violation of Batson.

25944 - SC Costal Conservation League v. SCDHEC

This case involves a permit to build a bridge over critical area. Regulation 30-12(F) is the governing project-specific regulation, and the law of the case is that the permit complies with Regulation 30-12(F). Also, there is substantial evidence to support the finding that the permit complies with Regulation 30-11. The Court reverses the circuit court's decision vacating the permit.

25945 - State v. Johnson

This Court granted certiorari to determine if the trial court's decision to admit Petitioner's prior convictions was harmless error.

25946 - Pittman v. Lowther

In this case, the Court concluded, among other things, that actions are sufficient to interrupt the prescriptive period for an easement when the servient landowner engages in overt acts, such as erecting physical barriers, which cause a discontinuance of the dominant landowner’s use of the land, no matter how brief.

25947 - Helms Realty v. Gibson-Wall

The circuit court did not err by denying the Appellant's motion for JNOV. The Record is insufficient for the Court to review the jury charge. The trial court did not err by granting Respondent's motion for summary judgment on Appellant's third-party-beneficiary claim.

2-22-2005 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of Luther E. Atwater, III

ORDER - Amendment to 403(h), SCACR
This order amends Rule 403, SCACR, to reduce the number of trial experiences required when an applicant has served as a law clerk or staff attorney for the Federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
ORDER - Extension of Time for Administration of the Amended Lawyer’s Oath
This order extends the time for meeting the requirements for taking the new lawyer's oath.
2-28-2005 - Opinions

25948 - Rodriguez v. Romaro

The issue on appeal involves which of two insurance carriers is responsible for coverage for injuries sustained by Celestino Rodriguez in a work-related accident.

2-28-2005 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of Steven Robinson Cureton

This order places Steven Robinson Cureton on interim suspension and appoints Kenneth S. Roper to protect the interests of Mr. Cureton's clients.