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Opinion Digests

Aug 16, 2023

Tort/Negligence – Conversion – Conservatorship – Loan to Granddaughter – Standing

A grandmother (Grandmother) lent money to her granddaughter (Granddaughter) so Granddaughter could buy certain property (the Goose Creek property). Granddaughter sold the Goose Creek property without repaying the loan. Grandmother’s Conservator has standing to seek repayment of the loan via this conversion action, including against Grandmother’s daughter (Daughter 1), who allegedly received pa[...]

Aug 16, 2023

Tort/Negligence – Economic Loss Rule – Breach of Contract – Termite Damage

After paying defendants pursuant to a termite treatment and repair bond agreement for 12 years, plaintiff discovered that his house was “inundated” with subterranean termites. Plaintiff’s negligence claim against defendants is barred by the economic loss rule. We affirm summary judgment for defendants on plaintiff’s negligence claim. The economic loss rule provides that there is […]

Aug 16, 2023

Tort/Negligence – Duplicate Lottery Tickets – Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

Plaintiff purchased five Mega Millions lottery tickets that he later discovered included four duplicate tickets; subsequently, he filed this action in which he specifically sought damages for the purchase of winning tickets. Even though the South Carolina Education Lottery Act does not mandate exhaustion of administrative remedies, the circuit court did not abuse its discretion […]

Aug 16, 2023

Tort/Negligence – Winning Lottery Tickets – Refusal to Pay – Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies – Class Action

This putative class action alleges that defendants failed to pay multiple winners of their 2017 $1 instant Holiday Game. The circuit court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing plaintiffs’ complaint for failure to exhaust their administrative remedies. We affirm the circuit court’s grant, upon reconsideration, of defendants’ motions to dismiss. Plaintiffs argue that the […]

Aug 16, 2023

Civil Rights – FOIA Request – Charitable Organization – State Involvement – Private Schools – Exceptional Children

The South Carolina Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children Fund was set up by the General Assembly, and our Department of Revenue is minimally involved in operating the Fund. However, the money in the Fund comes from private sources and is distributed as scholarships for children with exceptional needs. The Fund is not a public […]

Aug 16, 2023

Workers’ Compensation – Initially Unknown Cause – Difficult Diagnosis – Rotator Cuff Tear

It took a while for claimant’s doctors to figure out that her chest, shoulder and arm pain were coming from a work-related shoulder injury and even longer for them to figure out that she had suffered a rotator cuff tear, most likely at her job as a laminator, where she lifted heavy rolls of printing […]

Aug 16, 2023

Criminal Practice – Murder – Gruesome Autopsy Photos – Unnecessary

The only issue at defendant’s murder trial was who killed the victim – defendant or defendant’s husband. There was undisputed evidence as to how the victim died, as well as ample evidence of malice. Consequently, there was minimal probative value in gruesome photographs from the victim’s autopsy, and the trial court erred in admitting those […]

Aug 16, 2023

Tort/Negligence – Contribution among Tortfeasors – Auto Accident – Insurance Settlement Allocation

The plaintiff-driver was injured when her vehicle was struck by defendant McGee’s vehicle, as McGee was being followed by defendant Hudgins, while both defendants were driving too fast for conditions. McGee remained a defendant, despite his auto insurer paying plaintiff $100,000. After the jury awarded plaintiff $88,546.78 in compensatory damages (allocating 60 percent of the […]

Aug 16, 2023

Real Property – Slander of Title – Taxation – Tax Sale Irregularities – ‘Malice’

In failing to give notice of a tax sale to the record owner – even when his wife appeared in person and asked about any outstanding taxes – the defendant-county acted at least recklessly. However, the master-in-equity applied the wrong standard for “malice” in a slander-of-title case. The master found that malice requires an intent […]

Aug 16, 2023

Arbitration – Motion to Compel – Prima Paint Doctrine – Challenge to Contract – Reality TV

Plaintiff is a politician who agreed to appear in a reality TV show with his then-girlfriend. He challenges his entire contract with defendants – which included an arbitration clause and clearly said he might be portrayed in a negative light. When plaintiff was indeed portrayed in a negative light, plaintiff sued. In response to defendants’ […]

Aug 16, 2023

Landlord/Tenant – Renewal Option – Timely ‘Receipt’ – Landlord’s P.O. Box

The plaintiff-tenant’s notice of its decision to renew the parties’ lease was placed in the defendant-landlord’s post office box one day before the deadline, which fell on a Sunday. Even though the landlord did not check its P.O. box until the following Wednesday, the tenant timely exercised its option to extend the lease. We reverse […]

Aug 16, 2023

Criminal Practice – Attempted Murder – Jury Instructions – ‘Intent’ & ‘Motive’

During deliberations, the jury asked, “What is meant by intent?” In defining intent, the trial court ended with, “When the intent to do an act that violates the law exists, motive becomes immaterial.” Although this instruction had the potential to confuse the jury, it was harmless given the state’s evidence that defendant intentionally shot at […]

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