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Tag Archives: Tort/Negligence

Civil Practice – Default Judgment – Tort/Negligence – Auto Accident – Damages (access required)

Wilder v. Blue Ribbon Taxicab Corp. Where (1) more than a year elapsed between the time defendant was served with the summons and complaint and when it moved for relief from entry of default, (2) defendant acknowledged that it had no meritorious defense to liability, and (3) plaintiff showed she would be prejudiced if the matter were further delayed while defendant conducted discovery on issues not in dispute — like liability — then the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it found that defendant did not show good cause sufficient to relieve it from entry of default.

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Tort/Negligence – Attorneys – Legal Malpractice – Civil Practice – Statute of Limitations – Workers’ Compensation – Personal Injury (access required)

Kimmer v. Wright Even before plaintiff’s workers’ comp claim was decided against him, his lawyer had admitted to making the mistake of settling with the third-party tortfeasor without giving notice to plaintiff’s employer, thereby endangering plaintiff’s workers‘ comp claim. Plaintiff was not entitled to await the outcome of his workers’ comp claim before filing a legal malpractice claim against his lawyer.

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Tort/Negligence – Trip & Fall – Store Entrance – Torn Rug – Notice (access required)

Sellers v. JC Penney Corp. Even assuming that plaintiff is correct that there was a torn rug at the entrance to defendant’s store, plaintiff has introduced no evidence that any store employee was aware of a tendency of such a rug to tear or otherwise become dangerous. Accordingly, plaintiff cannot show that defendant created a dangerous condition by the placement of a rug with a tendency to tear at its entrance. Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted.

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Tort/Negligence – RICO – Enterprise/Person – Enterprise/Pattern – Vitamin Advertising (access required)

Spelman v. Bayer Corp. Although plaintiffs claim that the marketing agencies mentioned in their complaint are not “agents” of the Bayer defendants, nothing in the complaint indicates that the marketing agencies or the direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing enterprise undertook any function independent of Bayer’s direction or separate from Bayer’s own business of marketing its products. Therefore, plaintiffs have failed to articulate a distinction between Bayer as the RICO “person” and the DTC enterprise. Defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is granted.

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Civil Practice – Diversity Jurisdiction – Non-Diverse Distributor – Tort/Negligence – Products Liability – Fraudulent Joinder Removal (access required)

Walker v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Given South Carolina’s expansive reading of the term “seller” when construing its strict liability statutes, the S.C. plaintiff has a chance of succeeding in her product liability claim against the two S.C. defendants, who delivered plaintiff’s hip implant to a hospital in South Carolina. Therefore, the non-diverse defendants were not fraudulently joined, and diversity is not complete. Plaintiff’s motion to remand to state court is granted.

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Constitutional – Due Process – Administrative – Licenses & Permits – Contractor’s License – Tort/Negligence – Defamation – Tortious Interference with Contractual Relations (access required)

Squirewell v. South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation Although plaintiff asserts that he was denied procedural due process, he did not take advantage of existing procedures; that is, after his contractor’s license was revoked, plaintiff did not appeal to the Administrative Law Court. Plaintiff’s failure to use available post-deprivation procedures defeats his procedural due process claim. Summary judgment for defendants.

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Real Property – Easement – Statute of Frauds – Partnership Minutes – Tort/Negligence – Tortious Interference with Contractual Relations (access required)

Rogers v. River Hills Ltd. Partnership Although partnership minutes adequately described the dominant estate, they did not describe the servient estate with any particularity, nor did they adequately describe the easement. In addition, the minutes indicate no more than an executory promise - the minutes indicate that the easement “shall be” large enough to meet county requirements and “shall become available” at a later time. The minutes do not qualify as a sufficient written memorandum to satisfy the Statute of Frauds.

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Tort/Negligence – Premises Liability – Balancing Test – Motel Guest – Armed Robbery (access required)

Bass v. Gopal, Inc. In this premises liability action, we adopt a balancing test for determining when an injury from crime is foreseeable and what duty an innkeeper owes to a guest. Here, the guest’s forecast of evidence - including expert testimony - did not establish that the innkeeper breached a duty to the guest. We affirm summary judgment in favor of the motel.

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Tort/Negligence – Torture – Mustard Gas Attacks – Chemical Company – Not Subject to Suit — Intent (access required)

Aziz v. Alcolac Inc. Kurdish victims of mustard gas attacks in northern Iraq in the late 1980’s have not stated claims under the Torture Victim Protection Act or the Alien Tort Statute against defendant chemical manufacturer, who allegedly sold thiodiglycol to Saddam Hussein; the 4th Circuit upholds dismissal of the claims against defendant corporation.

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Tort/Negligence – Real Property – Defective Condo Construction – Damages – Corporate Amalgamation (access required)

Pope v. Heritage Communities, Inc. Where defense counsel admitted in his opening statement that the condominiums in question needed repairs and that the issue was the cost of the repairs, and where several defense witnesses admitted to construction defects, the trial court did not err in directing a verdict for plaintiffs on the issue of negligence. We affirm judgment for plaintiffs.

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