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South Carolina
Judicial Branch
Court of Appeals Archived Videos

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

2021-000898 - Jimmy Helms v. Debbie Willing

In this action for the division of partnership property, Appellant, Debbie Willing, asserts following a bench trial that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction; that no partnership existed between her and Respondent, Jimmy Helms; and that the division was improper, prejudicial, and made in reliance on erroneous title determinations.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

2022-000809 - Malcolm E. Livingston, Jr. v. Regional Medical Center

In this medical malpractice appeal, Appellant argues the circuit court erred in (1) granting Respondent's motion for partial summary judgment as to whether a supervising physician is vicariously liable for the negligent acts of a physician's assistant under the South Carolina Physician Assistants Practice Act and (2) finding the South Carolina Tort Claims Act's liability cap in this matter is $1,200,000 rather than the $300,000 per occurrence/$600,000 aggregate for non-physicians set forth in Section 15-78-120(a) of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2023).

2021-000446 - Cary E. Fechter v. Leon Martin Ortner

Dr. Cary E. Fechter appeals the circuit court's orders dismissing his claims against Leon Martin Ortner and The Ortner Law Firm, LLC (Ortner Respondents) as well as his claims against Gerald Rosenthal and Rosenthal, Levy, Simon, and Ryles, PA (Rosenthal Respondents). Dr. Fechter argues the circuit court erred in (1) finding the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission had subject matter jurisdiction over the claims and (2) denying his motions to reconsider the dismissal of his claims against the Ortner and Rosenthal Respondents.

2022-000681 - Beaufort County v. Adams Outdoor

Beaufort County appeals the circuit court's order reversing and vacating the magistrate's court conviction of Adams Outdoor Advertising Limited Partnership (Adams Outdoor) and Bo Hodges (Collectively, Respondents) for violating Beaufort County's Community Development Code (CDC).Beaufort County argues the circuit court erred by finding it must strictly comply with its CDC notice requirements.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

2021-001368 - New Life Apostolic Church, Inc. v. Progressive Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.

This is an appeal in a case concerning disputes about property, church governance, and a claim for unjust enrichment. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The plaintiffs appeal that judgment.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

2022-000600 - Naomi Bridges v. Harbour Town Surf Shop, LLC

In this workers' compensation action, Naomi Lynn Bridges appeals the Appellate Panel of the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission's (Appellate Panel's) finding her claim was not compensable. She argues the Appellate Panel improperly determined she had the burden to prove she was acting within the course and scope of her employment when she fell from a ladder while at work. She contends the Appellate Panel erred in finding the evidence established she left the sphere of her employment by violating specific orders not to climb the ladder. She maintains the Appellate Panel erred in finding the greater weight of the evidence supported that she suffered from a pre-existing injury or condition and she failed to meet her burden of proving she had suffered an injury in the course and scope of her employment. Further, she argues the Appellate Panel erred in its determination of her average weekly wage and compensation rate.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

2020-000049 - The State v. Royal D. Williams, III

Royal D. Williams, III appeals his conviction of murder for which he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Williams argues that the circuit court erred by (1) denying his motion for a directed verdict; (2) denying his motion to suppress cell phone evidence obtained by law enforcement three years after the warrant for the evidence was issued; (3) permitting the State to obtain a buccal swab from Williams after making a finding of probable cause; (4) granting the State a continuance to remedy an evidentiary issue; and (5) not dismissing the case based on an alleged violation of Williams's right to a speedy trial.

2021-001162 - Larry Blackwell, #176790 v. SCDPPPS

Appellant Larry Blackwell seeks review of the Administrative Law Court's (ALC) order dismissing his appeal from a decision of the South Carolina Board of Paroles and Pardons (the Board) denying his application for parole. Blackwell argues that the ALC had jurisdiction over his appeal because he was not challenging a routine denial of parole but rather (1) the Department of Probation, Parole & Pardon Services' (the Department) presentation of inaccurate information to the Board and (2) the Department's denial of his request to review the investigative file on his parole application. Blackwell asserts that these actions violated due process. Blackwell also argues that SCALC Rule 61, limiting what the Department is required to include in the record on appeal before the ALC, violates the Administrative Procedures Act.

2022-000290 - Eastwood Construction Partners, LLC v. GHD Brooks Creek

2022-000301 - Todd E. Taylor v. Amar and Kennie Gill Living Trust

In their appeal from an order granting Respondent's petition to amend a 1973 Master Deed pursuant to the South Carolina Nonprofit Corporation Act, Appellants argue the master in equity erred in: (1) altering the Horizontal Property Act's unanimity requirement regarding changes in the ownership percentages of certain common and limited common area elements; and (2) changing Appellants' property rights as established by the Master Deed.

2021-000518 - Adele Pope v. Alan Wilson

In this case filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Adele J. Pope appeals the circuit court order granting Alan Wilson, in his capacity as Attorney General of South Carolina (the AG), judgment on the pleadings, arguing (1) the circuit court had subject matter jurisdiction; (2) the circuit court should direct the AG to respond to her FOIA request; (3) discovery proceedings in another pending case did not exempt the requested documents; (4) the AG should produce certain trust documents; (5) she is entitled to attorney's fees and costs; and (6) the FOIA noncompliance has violated due process rights.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

2021-000325 - Evarista Lorenzo v. Port City Elevator

In this negligence action arising from the injuries Evarista Lorenzo sustained while working at a residential construction site, Lorenzo appeals the circuit court's order dismissing Beverly Homes, LLC (Beverly Homes) from the action. On appeal, Lorenzo argues that the circuit court erred by (1) reversing a prior circuit court decision, (2) finding Beverly Homes was immune under the exclusivity provision of the Worker's Compensation Act, (3) finding it had the authority to sua sponte grant summary judgment, and (4) improperly weighing the presented evidence.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

2019-000549 - Victor D. Smith v. State

Victor D. Smith appeals an order from the post conviction relief (PCR) court denying his PCR application based on ineffective assistance of counsel. Smith argues the PCR court erred by finding trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to object to the lead investigator's testimony that allegedly bolstered the testimony of one of Smith's codefendants.

2021-000457 - The State v. Christopher P. Cooper

Christopher P. Cooper appeals his convictions for first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, armed robbery, kidnapping, conspiracy, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. On appeal, Cooper argues the trial court erred in (1) excluding evidence the victim approached and requested money from his brother, (2) not suppressing statements he made to law enforcement that were involuntary, and (3) allowing the victim to testify she recognized Cooper's voice at a bond hearing.

2020-001643 - The Estate of Delila Parrott v. Sandpiper Independent and Assisted Living

In this wrongful death and survival action, Sandpiper Independent & Assisted Living (Sandpiper) challenges the circuit court's order finding Sandpiper liable for the death and conscious pain and suffering of Delila Parrott and awarding $1,000,000 to Parrott's estate (Respondent). Sandpiper argues that the circuit erred in finding that (1) Sandpiper owed Parrott a duty, (2) Sandpiper's breach of that duty proximately caused the death of Parrott, and (3) Sandpiper failed to establish comparative negligence as a defense. Sandpiper also contests the circuit court's calculation of damages, arguing the award was wholly undue and speculative or excessive.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

2021-000886 - SCDOR v. Agua Pina, LLC

Agua Pina, LLC appeals the Administrative Law Court's order revoking its beer, wine, and liquor by the drink license.

2021-000375 - Greg Simmons v. Palmer Simmons

In this civil matter, Palmer Simmons, individually and as the Trustee of the Charles E. Simmons, Jr. and Rosa G. Simmons Revocable Trust, and Charlesetta Aiken (collectively, Appellants) appeal the circuit court's orders (1) partially granting summary judgment to Greg Simmons and Jermaine Robinson (collectively, Respondents) and denying summary judgment to Appellants and (2) granting Respondents' motion to compel discovery.

2021-000158 - SCCCL v. SCDHEC

The South Carolina Coastal Conservation League (CCL) appeals the administrative law court's (ALC's) order affirming the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's issuance of a permit to DeBordieu Colony Community Association for the construction of groins on DeBordieu Colony Beach. The CCL contends the ALC erred in finding that the groins would be in a "high" erosion area, that existing structures are threatened by erosion, and that the groins would not detrimentally impact downdrift or adjacent areas.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

2021-001036 - Travis Walker v. Anderson Emergency Associates, P.A.

Travis Walker, individually and as personal representative of the Estate of Douglas Williford, and Lolita Moore (Appellants) appeal the circuit court's dismissal of a medical malpractice action. Appellants argue the circuit court erred in (1) finding the affidavit filed with the notice of intent to file suit was insufficient to meet the affidavit requirements of sections 15-79-125 and 15-36-100 of the South Carolina Code, (2) finding a subsequently filed affidavit did not cure the purported defects in the initial affidavit, and (3) dismissing the medical malpractice action with prejudice.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

2022-001507 - Kari Bristol v. Geoffrey Lipnevicius

Geoffrey M. Lipnevicious (Father) appeals the family court's order dismissing as moot his counterclaim for attorney's fees made in response to Kari Bristol's (Mother's) action for modification of visitation, his four pending contempt actions, and his request to register an August 2018 foreign order for enforcement. Father argues the family court erred by finding these issues were rendered moot on the ground that the child who was the subject of the underlying modification action turned eighteen before the court was able to hold a final hearing on the modification and contempt actions.

2021-000494 - SC Farm Bureau v. The Travelers Home

This appeal and the one listed below arise out of the same litigation involving a house fire. Separate insurance policies covering the same property were issued to different individuals. The appellants-Marion L. Driggers in the first case and South Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance Company in the second-appeal the circuit court's decision granting summary judgment in favor of Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company and granting Travelers' request for interpleader.

2021-000835 - South Carolina Farm Bureau v. Marion Driggers

2021-001050 - Builders FirstSource-Southeast Group, LLC v. Palmetto Trim and Renovation

On appeal from the grant (or partial grant) of eight summary judgment motions, Respondent Builders FirstSource Southeast Group, LLC (BFS) argues the circuit court erred in (1) mistakenly applying the clear and unequivocal standard of Concord & Cumberland Horizontal Property Regime v. Concord & Cumberland, LLC, 424 S.C. 639, 819 S.E.2d 166 (Ct. App. 2018); (2) finding certain contractual language violates South Carolina law and public policy; (3) finding BFS's indemnity claims are collaterally estopped; (4) failing to address the severability provision of the contract and/or finding it lacked authority to sever; and (5) finding the contract unconscionable and unenforceable.

2020-000838 - Estate of William Pratt v. Amisub of SC, Inc.

In this medical malpractice appeal, Appellants Rock Hill Radiology Associates, LLC, and Geoffrey T. Gilleland, M.D. argue the circuit court erred in (1) denying Appellants' motions for directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict; (2) denying Appellants' motion for a new trial absolute; (3) requiring the jury to allocate fault between Appellants; (4) failing to reduce the verdict; and (5) failing to grant setoff.

2021-000219 - Colonial Pipeline Co. v. SCDOR

The South Carolina Department of Revenue (DOR) and Aiken, Laurens, Abbeville, Anderson, Greenville, and York Counties (the Counties) (collectively, Appellants) appeal the order of the Administrative Law Court (ALC) granting a pollution control property tax exemption to Respondent Colonial Pipeline Company (Colonial), arguing the ALC erred in (1) granting the exemption to a transportation company that is not a production plant; (2) not appropriately discounting the exemption based on the dual purpose provision; (3) limiting the scope of the contested case hearing; and (4) finding Colonial entitled to the exemption despite the failure of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to determine the issue.

Monday, March 4, 2024

2020-001030 - Maybank 2754, LLC v. Eugene J. Zurlo

This appeal arises out of a declaratory judgment and civil conspiracy action. Appellant Maybank 2754, LLC argues the circuit court erred by referring the matter to the master in equity, granting Respondents' motions for summary judgment, and denying Maybank's motion to amend its complaint. Maybank also argues the circuit court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the motions for summary judgment because there was an appeal of the order referring the matter to the master pending before this court.

2021-000330 - Julia Brooker v. Beacham O. Brooker, Jr.

This appeal concerns the proper interpretation of an "equalization clause" in an estate planning document. The probate court found the testator intended the equalization payment to account for gifts throughout the testator's lifetime as opposed to gifts from the date of a particular trust's creation. The trustee appeals and contends this interpretation is incorrect.

2020-001613 - Jo Ann Blackwell v. Mary Black Health System, LLC

Mary Black Health System, LLC, d/b/a Mary Black Memorial Hospital, CHSPSC, LLC, and Professional Account Services, Inc. (PASI; collectively, Providers) appeal the circuit court's denial of their motions to dismiss the amended complaint of Jo Ann Blackwell, Michelene Brooks, and Samuel Owens, Jr. (collectively, Patients). Providers also appeal the circuit court's denial of their motion to stay the case and compel arbitration against Owens.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

2020-000999 - Synovus Bank v. SCDOR

Synovus Bank appeals the Administrative Law Court's final order finding (1) that Synovus may not carryover a net operating loss deduction as an expense when calculating its entire net income for purposes of South Carolina's bank tax and (2) that the Department of Revenue properly applied financial accounting principles, rather than tax accounting principles, when determining Synovus's bank tax liability.

2020-001291 - Julie Irving v. Jeanne Poafpybitty

Jeanne Poafpybitty, as personal representative of the Estate of Donald M. Rothgeb, appeals the order of the circuit court affirming the probate court's order ruling in favor of Julie Irving. On appeal, Poafpybitty argues the circuit court erred in affirming the probate court's (1) finding she breached her duties to the Estate without first finding her conduct was inconsistent with the testator's intent that she have "sole discretion" to distribute the property and thus failing to follow the testator's intent as stated in his will; (2) failure to apply In re Estate of Kay, 423 S.C. 476, 816 S.E.2d 542 (2018) to the facts of this case; (3) application of standards from the South Carolina Trust Code to the actions of a personal representative in administering an estate; (4) ruling awarding legal fees to Irving to be paid from the Estate's funds under the "common fund" doctrine; (5) decision to remove Poafpybitty as personal representative and appointing a special representative when no interested person petitioned for her removal, no evidence supported her removal, and no request for appointment of a special administrator was made during trial; and (6) determination that Poafpybitty was responsible for the legal fees incurred in defending this action without a finding of bad faith as required by section 62-3-720 of the South Carolina Code (2022).

2021-000648 - Peter D. Protopapas v. Travelers Casualty

In this ongoing asbestos litigation involving dissolved corporation Starr Davis, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company (Travelers) appeals the circuit court's order granting partial summary judgment and declaring certain insurance policy rights and obligations. Travelers argues the circuit court erred by (1) entering partial summary judgment despite the existence of a genuine dispute of material fact, (2) refusing to consider a 1985 agreement between Starr Davis and Aetna (now part of Travelers) related to the handling of asbestos claims, and (3) issuing insurance coverage declarations contrary to South Carolina law.

2019-000907 - Jerald D. Gaskins, Jr. v. State

Jerald D. Gaskins, Jr. appeals the circuit court's denial of post conviction relief, arguing trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to improper cross examination testimony, inadmissible expert testimony regarding delayed disclosure, and improper vouching.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

2020-001583 - Bonnie Wall v. Jonathan Dye

In this civil matter, Bonnie Wall and Walter B. Wall, Jr. (the Walls) appeal the master-in-equity's order granting Jonathan Dye, Shaun Dye, John H. Chakides, Jr., and Shellmore Homeowners' Association, Inc. (collectively, Respondents) summary judgment on the Walls' claims for breach of fiduciary duty and civil conspiracy.

2021-001014 - Bonnie Wall v. Jonathan Dye (2)

Bonnie Wall and Walter B. Wall, Jr. (the Walls) appeal the master in equity's order granting summary judgment to Johnathan Dye, Shaun Dye, and Shellmore Homeowners' Association, Inc. and denying the Walls' motions for partial summary judgment and to compel discovery.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

2021-000030 - Kathleen Carter v. Joseph Carter

Appellant Joseph Carter (Husband) appeals the family court's Final Divorce Decree dividing the marital estate, awarding $2,700.00 per month in alimony to Respondent Kathleen Carter (Wife) and requiring him to pay Wife's attorney fees. Husband also appeals the family court's order denying his motion for reconsideration.

2019-001272 - Devatee T. Clinton v. State

In this post-conviction relief action against the State, Devatee Tymar Clinton appeals the circuit court's order finding his trial counsel was not ineffective where counsel failed to proffer and argue that the identification statements of a four-year-old witness were admissible as excited utterances or present sense impressions.

2021-000633 - Rachel Turner v. Medustrial Healthcare

This workers' compensation case arises from an incident that occurred while Rachel J. Turner was working as a contract nurse for the South Carolina Department of Corrections pursuant to its staffing agreement with Condustrial, Inc., f/k/a Medustrial Healthcare Staffing Service (Condustrial). On appeal, Turner argues the Appellate Panel of the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission (Appellate Panel) erred by (1) finding she was not entitled to continuing temporary total disability from the date of her injury, (2) finding her average weekly wage should be based on wages paid by her employer, and (3) denying her motion to submit additional and after discovered evidence. On cross appeal, Condustrial argues (1) Turner was an independent contractor and not an employee; (2) the Appellate Panel erred in holding Condustrial was uninsured because its service agreement with Countrywide Staffing Solutions Group, Inc. (Countrywide) included Turner's employment; (3) Because Countrywide should be treated as a Professional Employer Organization (P.E.O.), it should be liable for Condustrial's entire work force; and (4) Countrywide's carrier, Guarantee Insurance Company (Guarantee) provided coverage for Turner because coverage must follow the law.

2020-000143 - Brittany C. Foster v. State

Petitioner Brittany C. Foster appeals the circuit court's order denying and dismissing her application for post-conviction relief. Petitioner argues plea counsel was ineffective for advising her to plead guilty without explaining that, if she proceeded to trial, Petitioner could have challenged the admissibility of her confession to murder.

2020-001642 - Gibbs International, Inc. v. Sarmad Harake and Eurosa, Inc.

Sarmad Harake and Eurosa, Inc. (collectively, Appellants) appeal the circuit court's dismissal of their fourth counterclaim for tortious interference with economic interest. Appellants argue the circuit court erred in dismissing the fourth counterclaim because (1) it included a valid claim for relief, (2) they were not given an opportunity to amend, and (3) the dismissal was based on an instruction not to answer questions in Harake's deposition, and that information is not part of the analysis under Rules 12(b)(6) and 12(f), SCRCP.

2019-000230 - Derek Maner v. State

Petitioner Derek Maner appeals the circuit court's order denying and dismissing his application for post-conviction relief (PCR) from his murder conviction and life sentence. Petitioner argues that he was prejudiced by trial counsel's ineffectiveness in failing to object to (1) testimony concerning a traffic stop of Petitioner's brother's car several months after the victim's disappearance and (2) testimony concerning Petitioner's purchase of purportedly hidden jewelry while he was in prison awaiting trial.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

2019-001936 - Jennie Cox v. Palmetto State Transportation

Jennie Cox appeals the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission's appellate panel order affirming the single commissioner's award of permanent partial disability benefits. Cox argues the Appellate Panel erred in (1) failing to consider and assign appropriate weight to all of the evidence in determining the extent of her injuries and (2) failing to find she was permanently and totally disabled.

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