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Tag Archives: Punitive Damages

Civil Practice – Federal Jurisdiction – Diversity – Amount in Controversy – Punitive Damages (access required)

Hamilton v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC Plaintiffs contend that defendant Litton induced them to reduce the amount of hazard insurance coverage to an amount insufficient to pay off their mortgage in the event of a total loss. The actual damages plaintiffs seek would be the difference between the amount still owing on the mortgage at the time of the fire ($85,000) and the amount of the insurance coverage ($46,575), which is $38,525. The fact that plaintiffs also seek punitive damages does not show that the $75,000 jurisdictional limit for diversity cases has been met.

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Tort/Negligence – Personal Injury – Motor Vehicle Accident – Rule 35 — Independent Medical Exam – Defense Expert – Trial Court’s Discretion – Punitive Damages – Recklessness – Jury Instruction – Intervening Negligence (access required)

Fairchild v. South Carolina Department of Transportation Plaintiff made a “reasonable objection” to the doctor whom defendant proposed to conduct an independent medical examination of her, i.e., the doctor was an expert for the defense who had already reviewed plaintiff’s medical records and the deposition testimony of potential witnesses.

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Tort/Negligence – Nuisance – Landfill Odors – Corporate – LLC – Related Entities – Punitive Damages (access required)

Babb v. Lee County Landfill SC, LLC Even though plaintiffs assert that defendants Republic Services of South Carolina, LLC and Republic Services, Inc. directly control the landfill, which is owned by defendant Lee County Landfill SC, LLC, plaintiffs have failed to show that direct liability exists in South Carolina for non-owning entities who nevertheless directly control a property.

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Tort/Negligence – Construction Defects – Evidence – Other Projects – Corporate Amalgamation — Punitive Damages (access required)

Magnolia North Property Owners’ Association, Inc. v. Heritage Communities, Inc. Since construction defects at defendants’ other projects were substantially similar to those at Magnolia North, the trial court did not err in admitting evidence of the defects at other projects. Moreover, such evidence was admissible to prove many of the elements required for a punitive damages award.

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Tort/Negligence – Slander of Title – Real Property – Co-Owner’s Mortgage – Damages – Attorney’s Fees – Punitive Damages (access required)

Solley v. Navy Federal Credit Union, Inc. Where the defendant-bank’s slander of plaintiff’s title - recording a mortgage based on a loan made solely to plaintiff’s ex-boyfriend - compelled plaintiff to hire a lawyer and litigate the matter, then plaintiff’s damages include her attorney’s fees. We affirm the special referee’s decision in part, but we reverse his exclusion of plaintiff’s attorney’s fees from the calculation of her damages. Since we remand for a recalculation of actual damages, we also remand for a recalculation of punitive damages.

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Civil Practice – Federal Jurisdiction – Diversity – Corporate – ‘Nerve Center’ – Amount in Controversy – Punitive Damages (access required)

McClurkin v. Champion Laboratories, Inc. Even though the defendant-corporation has a facility in South Carolina, since it was incorporated in Delaware and has its “nerve center” in Illinois, defendant is a citizen of Delaware and Illinois but not of South Carolina. Plaintiff’s motion to remand to state court is denied. A corporation’s principal place of business is where the corporation’s high-level officers direct, control, and coordinate the corporation’s activities.

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