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South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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Supreme Court Published Opinions - August 2010

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.

8-2-2010 - Opinions

26846 - Priester v. Cromer

The Court affirms the grant of summary judgment in favor of Ford Motor Company and holds the federal regulation preempts state law.

8-9-2010 - Opinions

26847 - In the Matter of William Ashley Boyd

This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court definitely suspended a lawyer.

26848 - In the Matter of Joseph W. Ginn, III

This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court definitely suspended a lawyer.

26849 - Platt v. CSX Transportation, Inc.

Petitioner brought wrongful death and survival actions against CSX Transportation, Inc. and the South Carolina Department of Transportation stemming from a collision between an automobile and a freight train. Petitioner settled the claims against CSX, and the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of SCDOT. The court of appeals affirmed. After granting Petitioner's request for a writ of certiorari, this Court affirmed, finding the public duty rule bars the statutory claims, and Petitioner did not preserve its common law duty argument.

26850 - South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles v. Blackwell

Appellant’s driver license was suspended after multiple driving offense convictions. This Court upheld the suspension, holding a conviction for driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration under S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-2933 (2006) constitutes a major violation under the habitual traffic offender statute at S.C. Code Ann. § 56-1-1020 (2006).

26851 - Mathis v. Brown & Brown of South Carolina, Inc.

In this appeal from a trial court's order awarding damages under claims for breach of contract and violation of the Payment of Wages Act, the Court affirmed in part and reversed in part.

26852 - Vasquez v. State

In this post-conviction relief (PCR) case, this Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the PCR judge’s denial of Petitioner’s request for relief from his convictions and capital sentence. We reverse and remand for a new sentencing hearing.

26853 - State v. Mattison

We affirm as modified the decision of the Court of Appeals in State v. Mattison, 380 S.C. 326, 669 S.E.2d 635 (Ct. App. 2008).

26854 - In the Matter of Jeffrey Scott Holcombe

In this opinion, the Court suspended Jeffrey Scott Holcombe from the practice of law for two years from the date of the opinion.

26855 - State v. Brannon

We granted certiorari to consider whether the court of appeals erred in finding Ricky Brannon, who fled on foot from uniformed police officers after they ordered him to stop, was entitled to a directed verdict on the charge of resisting arrest.

26856 - SC Energy Users Committee v. SC Public Service Commission

In this appeal, the South Carolina Public Service Commission ("Commission") determined South Carolina Electric & Gas Company ("SCE&G") was entitled to recover contingency costs under the Base Load Review Act.

8-9-2010 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of Horry County Magistrate James Oren Hughes, Jr.

ORDER - In the Matter of Williamsburg County Magistrate Carolyn Gardner Lemmon
8-16-2010 - Opinions

26857 - State v. Winkler

In this capital murder case, Louis Michael Winkler, Jr. appeals his sentence of death, and the Court affirms the trial court.

26858 - Ray v. Austin

In this case, we decide whether Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company, doing business as Kemper Insurance Company (

26860 - Branham v. Ford Motor Company

In this direct appeal from the jury verdict in a products liability matter, the Court affirms in part, reverses in part, and remands for a new trial.

26861 - State v. Tindall

In this case, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals rulings affirming the trial court's denial of Petitioner's motions to suppress evidence and his statement to police.

26862 - Robinson v. Estate of Harris

We affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals in Robinson v. Estate of Harris, Op. No. 2008-UP-647 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Nov. 24, 2008).

26863 - Robinson v. Estate of Harris

We affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals in Robinson v. Estate of Harris, Op. No. 2008-UP-649 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Nov. 24, 2008).

26864 - Robinson v. Estate of Harris

We affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals in Robinson v. Estate of Harris, Op. No. 2008-UP-648 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Nov. 24, 2008).

26865 - Robinson v. Estate of Harris

We affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals in Robinson v. Estate of Harris, Op. No. 2008-UP-646 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Nov. 24, 2008).

26866 - Huxfield Cemetery v. Elliott

The Court reverses the trial court and holds Appellant Huxfield Cemetery Association has the right to maintain and control Huxfield Cemetery.

26867 - Estate of Stokes v. Pee Dee Family Physicians

Affirms the circuit court's finding that the estate may not pursue a wrongful death action where the decedent, prior to death, was barred from seeking damages for injuries that caused his death.

26868 - State v. Starnes

The Court affirms Appellant's death sentence and holds Appellant was not entitled to a voluntary manslaughter charge and knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to counsel.

26869 - Grinnell Corporation v. Wood

The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' opinion affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Respondents regarding UIM coverage.

26870 - In the Matter of Samuel Francis Crews, III

This is an attorney discipline matter.

26871 - State v. Bixby

Steven V. Bixby was charged with the murder of Abbeville County Deputy Sheriff Danny Wilson and Abbeville County Magistrate's Constable Donnie Ouzts. The jury found him guilty of all charges and recommended that he be sentenced to death. We affirm.

8-23-2010 - Opinions

26833 - Chester v. SCDPS

The Court held the proportionate liability provision of the Tort Claims Act, S.C. Code Ann. § 15-78-100 (c), did not permit a judge to join other alleged co-tortfeasors under Rule 19, SCRCP.

26872 - In the Matter of Frank E. Thomson

This is an opinion in which the Court publicly reprimanded a lawyer.

26873 - Hill v. SCDHEC

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League appeal from a circuit court order that reversed an administrative law judge's determination that C. Wayne Hill had violated the terms of a Critical Area Permit issued by the agency.

8-30-2010 - Opinions

26874 - Timmons v. Starkey

The Court affirmed the Court of Appeals.

8-30-2010 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of Jonathan L.B. Davis

This is an order placing a lawyer on interim suspension.