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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - December 2012

Note: Beginning in June 2012, opinions will be posted as Adobe PDFs. You can download a free copy of Adobe Reader here.

The summary following each opinion is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what a particular opinion decides. The summary is not necessarily a full description of the issues discussed in an opinion.

12-5-2012 - Opinions

5058 - Jenkins v. Jenkins

In this appeal from family court, the Court of Appeals affirmed the family court's decision to award the wife a portion of her husband's military retirement benefits but increased the wife's share based on her contributions to the parties' marriage. Based on the Court of Appeal's finding that the wife was entitled to a greater share of the husband's retirement benefits, it remanded the issue of child support to the family court for reconsideration based on husband's diminished income. The Court of Appeals also affirmed the family court's decision to require the wife to pay the outstanding debt on a vehicle acquired by the parties during the marriage.

5059 - Burnette v. City of Greenville

Kellie N. Burnette appeals the circuit court's order affirming the decision of the Appellate Panel of the Worker's Compensation Commission. Burnette argues the circuit court erred in affirming because the evidence in the record does not support the Single Commissioner's findings that (1) Burnette did not injure her low back in her June 2007 accident, (2) Burnette is not permanently and totally disabled, and (3) Burnette's testimony was not credible.

12-12-2012 - Opinions

5060 - State v. Brayboy

Larry Bradley Brayboy appeals from his convictions of armed robbery, kidnapping, and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, arguing the trial court erred in limiting Brayboy's examination of a co-defendant about a prior conviction for possession of a sawed off shotgun.

5061 - Walde v. Association Insurance Company

On cross-motions for summary judgment, Association Insurance Company (AIC) appeals the grant of partial summary judgment, costs, and attorney's fees to William and Mary Frances Walde, as assignees of Johnson Construction Company of Aiken, Inc. (Johnson). AIC argues the trial court erred in finding AIC had a duty to defend Johnson against the Waldes' arbitration claims. AIC further maintains the trial court erred in holding AIC was liable for costs and attorney's fees due to a breach of that duty because the court failed to find that AIC's refusal to defend was without reasonable cause. Because the provisions of Johnson's insurance policy with AIC are unambiguous, those provisions are the guideposts of our analysis below. We reverse.

5063 - Broyhill v. Resolution Management Consultants

5064 - King v. King

In this alimony modification appeal, Ray King appeals the final order of the family court for (1) failing to reduce his alimony obligation retroactive to the date of filing of the complaint, and (2) awarding retroative alimony to Patricia King in the amount of $26,004 on the basis that the findings of fact were not supported by the preponderance of the evidence.

12-19-2012 - Opinions

5065 - Curiel v. Hampton County E.M.S.

Hampton County E.M.S. (Hampton) appeals the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Maria and Martin Curiel, arguing the trial court erred in finding it was not entitled to tort immunity pursuant to the South Carolina Tort Claims Act. S.C. Code Ann. ยง 15-78-70(6) (2005). We affirm.

5066 - Rhett v. Gray

This is an appeal arising out of claims by William M. and Nancy R. Rhett (collectively the Rhetts) to two easements on Jonathan H. Gray's property. The Rhetts appeal the master-in-equity's finding that one of the easements was abandoned. They also appeal the master's not allowing them to use the other easement to access all of their property. They further appeal the master's denial of their request for attorney's fees. Gray appeals the master's finding the Rhetts could use the other easement to access part of their property to which it is not appurtenant. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

12-28-2012 - Opinions

5067 - Johnson v. Robert E. Lee Academy

Patricia Johnson appeals the circuit court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Moore, Beauston & Woodham, LLP (MBW) in this negligence action. Johnson argues the circuit court erred in finding MBW, an accounting firm retained by Johnson's former employer, owed no duty of care to her as a third party.

5068 - Gaffney v. Gaffney

Husband appeals the order of the family court interpreting the parties' divorce decree. On appeal, Husband argues the family court erred in finding the loan obligor's full payment of the principal balance owing would reduce Husband's alimony obligation from $7,000 to $1,000 instead of eliminating it entirely.