After deliberating for less than an hour, a Horry County jury returned a verdict in favor of Wal-Mart and two employees in a wrongful death claim brought by a plaintiff on behalf of her daughters’ estate.
IN THE HEADLINES
- Public schools and abortion are new battleground in student free-speech movement Students with deep religious convictions are fast turning public schools into the newest battleground over abortion — much to the dismay of beleaguered school officials. The most recent controversy involves Annie Zinos, a sixth-grade student in Minnesota, who was prohibited by her school from sharing pro-life literature with her classmates. Last week, Annie and her family filed suit against school officials for violating her First Amendment rights.
- Man defamed his dead son’s widow, court rules Dressing up his personal vendetta in the guise of a concerned citizen performing a public service will not spare one disgruntled father-in-law from a defamation suit brought by his daughter-in-law.
- Man convicted on girlfriend’s testimony gets retrial It’s bad enough having a girlfriend who begs to help prosecutors send you to prison for 46 years. But it’s even worse when a judge prevents the jury from learning that she avoided the same sentence by turning state’s witness. That scenario led a divided South Carolina Court of Appeals to determine that Jo Pradubsri was entitled to a retrial on drug and gun charges. The majority found that the trial court had deprived Pradubsri of his constitutional right to question his girlfriend, Melisa Martin, about the sentence she dodged by securing a plea deal.
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- Tort/Negligence – Contract – Exculpatory Clause – Unfair Trade Practices – Emotional Distress – Fire Alarm
Bahringer v. ADT Security Services, Inc. The parties’ relationship was one of home security company and customer, i.e., contractual. It does not fit within either of the categories in which the S.C. Supreme Court has found that a special relationship (one marked by a professional duty or supervisor-supervisee) imposes extra-contractual duties. Plaintiff has not explained why defendant’s duties to a wheelchair-bound double amputee may be any different than they would be to an able-bodied customer. Therefore, plaintiff’s negligence action fails.
- Administrative – Immigrant’s ‘Grabbing’ Officer’s Hand Not ‘Violent’ Crime
Karimi v. Holder The 4th Circuit grants an Afghan citizen’s petition for review of a final order of removal, and says the government failed to prove that his act of “grabbing” the hand of a police officer who was processing his Maryland DUI charge was not a “crime of violence” and thus an “aggravated felony” that would trigger his removal under federal immigration law.
- Administrative – Appeal Dismissed in Medicaid Cutback Case
K.C. v. Shipman In this case involving a cutback in Medicaid services to a class of North Carolina recipients with severe developmental disabilities, the 4th Circuit dismisses an appeal of a preliminary injunction ordering the state Medicaid agency not to reduce services without a hearing; the state agency that administers the Medicaid program has not joined in this appeal filed by the contract healthcare provider that manages the services and its director