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Sep 11, 2023

Contract – Subcontractor’s Invoice – ‘Pay When Paid’ Provision – Unenforceable Condition Precedent

A provision in the contract between the defendant-general contractor and the plaintiff-subcontractor allowed the general contractor to withhold payment for the subcontractor’s work until the project owner paid the general contractor. This provision violated S.C. Code Ann. § 29-6-230’s clear prohibition on conditioning payment to a subcontractor upon the owner’s payment to the general contra[...]

Sep 11, 2023

Contract – Real Estate Agent – Real Property Inspection – Release & Indemnity Provision

Our courts have upheld liability waivers executed prior to the activities which were subject to the waivers, e.g., paintball games, McCune v. Myrtle Beach Indoor Shooting Range, Inc., 364 S.C. 242, 612 S.E.2d 462 (Ct. App. 2005). Here, the plaintiff-buyer signed a contract containing a release of the defendant-real estate agent from claims including those […]

Sep 11, 2023

Contract – Credit Card – Consumer Protection Code – Account Stated

Plaintiff bought a charged-off debt from a credit card issuer and brought this action against defendant, the purported credit card debtor. We hold that consumer credit cards are “lender credit cards” and “consumer loans” pursuant to the South Carolina Consumer Protection Code, and plaintiff should have sent defendant a right to cure notice before filing […]

Aug 31, 2023

Contract – Mechanic’s Lien – Summary Judgment – Standard of Review

The court clarifies that a mere scintilla of evidence is insufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment; instead, the non-movant must show that there is a genuine issue of material fact. In this case, the plaintiff-contractor forecasted evidence that it wrote a check to pay for parts during the 90 days before it perfected […]

Aug 16, 2023

Contract – New York Law – Service to Real Property – Wi-Fi & Internet – Required Renewal Notice

The parties’ contract for wi-fi and internet services was governed by New York law. Because the contract required plaintiff to deliver the services “to the property” of the defendant-homeowners’ associations, the contract was one “for services to or for real property.” As such, New York General Obligations Law § 5-903 required plaintiff to serve defendants, […]

Jul 12, 2023

Contract – Real Property – Impossibility Defense – Preexisting Mortgage Woes

Where the defendant-sellers’ lender had already threatened foreclosure when defendants entered into a contract to sell their Charleston property to the plaintiff-buyer – a complication defendants chose not to tell plaintiff about – the lender’s unwillingness to consent to the sale of the property did not present a legal impossibility to defendants’ performance under their […]

May 3, 2023

Contract – Construction Defect – Crossclaims – General Contractor & Architect

In this construction defect case brought by the purchaser of a project, the general contractor has not stated independent claims against the project’s architect. We affirm partial summary judgment for the architect. The contractor lists the following actual damages: (1) Cost of windows purchased by the contractor that do not meet required wind load, which […]

Feb 22, 2023

Partnerships – Contract – Real Property – Division of Profits

Even though the parties have not strictly adhered to the terms of their written 1979 partnership agreement, this does not support the master-in-equity’s finding that no partnership existed. We affirm the master’s holding that plaintiff and defendant Fanning (defendant) each own an undivided one-half interest in the parcel in question, but we reverse the finding […]

Sep 19, 2022

Contract – Restaurant Renovation – Payments to Subcontractors – Extracontractual Work 

During the underlying proceedings between the project owner and the general contractor, the owner settled a claim by electrical subcontractor Carolina Construction Solutions (CCS) for $50,000. CCS was only hired after the project owner became frustrated by construction delays, demanded that the general contractor hire additional electricians, and approved a change order listing a cost […]

Aug 17, 2022

Contract – Promissory Estoppel – Free Health Care – Labor & Employment – Retirement 

The circuit court placed too high a burden on plaintiffs – retired city employees – in requiring them to prove they would have been better off if the defendant-city had fulfilled its promise of free health care during their retirement. Nevertheless, the retirees failed to prove that the city’s promise was unambiguous, that their reliance […]

Jul 13, 2022

Contract – Promissory Note – Guarantee – Consideration – Attorney’s Fee & Interest 

Where (1) plaintiff made a short-term loan to defendant ISL Development, LLC, in part to pay the salary of defendant Stewart; (2) plaintiff declined to consider the loan an investment in ISL; and (3) plaintiff said she would extend the loan’s due date if Stewart would personally guarantee the loan, the trial court could find […]

Dec 16, 2021

At-will employment contractual, third-party suit OK 

A former bank executive who was fired from his job will be able to move forward with a federal lawsuit against the co-worker who accused him of sexual harassment after the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that at-will employment relationships are contractual relationships and South Carolina law recognizes a valid claim for third-party tortious interference […]

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