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Tag Archives: Tort/Negligence

Tort/Negligence – Negligent Misrepresentation – Zoning – Municipal — Public Employees (access required)

Carolina Chloride, Inc. v. Richland County Where plaintiff continued to use its property as if it were zoned heavy industrial while the defendant-county processed and granted plaintiff’s request to rezone the property from rural to heavy industrial, the county did not inversely condemn plaintiff’s property. We affirm the decision of our Court of Appeals insofar as it upheld the circuit court’s directed verdict for the defendant-county. We overturn the Court of Appeals’ reversal of the circuit court’s directed verdict on plaintiff’s claims of negligence and negligent misrepresentation.

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Criminal Practice – Forgery – Civil Practice – Evidence – Attorneys – Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice – Contempt – Constitutional – Double Jeopardy – Value — Sentencing  (access required)

State v. Brandt The offense of criminal contempt has an element that the offense of forgery does not have, and vice versa. Therefore, defendant’s prosecution for forgery - after his criminal contempt conviction — does not violate the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. We affirm defendant’s conviction of forgery but remand so that he may be sentenced for a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

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Tort/Negligence – Personal Injury – Auto Accident – Passenger – Driver’s Speeding – Proximate Cause (access required)

Black v. Cayia Plaintiff William Black was a passenger in the vehicle defendant Knox was driving when defendant Cayia admittedly failed to yield the right of way when she turned left into Knox’s lane, causing the two vehicles to collide. The evidence shows that, even if Knox were traveling 45 mph in a 35-mph zone, this was not a “but for” cause of the accident. We affirm summary judgment for defendant Knox and defendant Dao, who owned the vehicle Knox was driving (collectively, respondents).

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Tort/Negligence – Conversion & Unjust Enrichment – Personal Property – Gift – Sale — Bailment – No Demand (access required)

Meehan v. Newton Even though plaintiff claims his father made a gift to him of personal property stored at plaintiff’s grandmother’s home, there was no completed gift because plaintiff never took actual possession of the property. We affirm the trial court’s grant of directed verdicts for defendants.

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Tort/Negligence – Child Abuse – Photo Development – Reporter’s Statute – Common Law Duty (access required)

Doe v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. As we held in Doe v. Marion, 373 S.C. 390, 645 S.E.2d 245 (2007), there is no private right of action for failing to report suspected or known child abuse under the Reporter’s Statute, S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-310(A). Moreover, defendant Wal-Mart had no common-law duty to protect an abused child, nor did Wal-Mart’s internal policies about developing photographs - or their violation - create such a duty. We affirm summary judgment for Wal-Mart.

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Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – TCA – Government Hospital – Independent Contractor (access required)

Smith v. Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg & Calhoun Counties Even though a private hospital cannot delegate its duty to render competent emergency room services to its patients and therefore may be vicariously liable for the negligence of an independent contractor, the same is not true for a government hospital. Pursuant to the Tort Claims Act, the defendant-hospital, as a governmental entity, is not vicariously liable for the negligence of an independent contractor – in this case, an anesthesiologist in the emergency room. We affirm summary judgment for the hospital.

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Tort/Negligence – Spoliation of Evidence – Unrecognized in S.C. – Available as Defense (access required)

Cole Vision Corp. v. Hobbs Although spoliation of evidence is available as a defense, it is not recognized as a tort in South Carolina. Denominating defendant’s spoliation counterclaim as one for negligence does not change this outcome. We reverse the Court of Appeals’ ruling that defendant’s counterclaim states a claim of negligence.

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Tort/Negligence – Negligent Misrepresentation Claim – Real Property – Square Footage (access required)

Alpha Contracting Services, Inc. v. Household Finance Corp., II The respondent-seller received an appraisal indicating that its house had only 3,043 square feet of heated living space, but the seller did not inform the respondent-agent; thereafter, the agent listed the house for sale, representing that the house had 3,916 heated square feet of living space (a figure obtained from the tax assessor's office). Even though the house actually had only 2,942 square feet of heated living space, the appellant-buyer cannot make out a claim of negligent misrepresentation since the buyer failed to do his own investigation and since the parties' contract disclaimed any warranty as to square footage.

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Insurance – Auto – Breach of Contract – Tort/Negligence – Insured – Duty to Defend & Indemnify (access required)

Hartsel v. Selective Insurance Co. of South Carolina In his individual capacity and as personal representative for two estates, plaintiff filed suit against an auto insurance company, alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, bad faith, improper claims practices, and negligence, all based on two underlying wrongful death lawsuits involving one of plaintiff's decedents, Bennett. Plaintiff was not a party to the auto insurance policy at issue, and only one of his decedents - Mary - was. Mary had no interest in the underlying lawsuits, other than as a beneficiary of Bennett's estate; therefore, plaintiff did not state viable claims against the defendant-insurer.

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