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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - April 2015

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.

4-1-2015 - Opinions

5306 - Sean Fay v. Grand Strand Regional

In this cross-appeal from a medical malpractice action, Sean Fay (Sean) argues the trial court erred in granting Dr. Richard Young's motion for a directed verdict on public policy grounds. In the appeal against Sean, Dr. Stephen Law argues the trial court erred in (1) denying his motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV), (2) excluding evidence of Sean's admitted extramarital affair, and (3) refusing to enroll the judgment against him using the jury's determination of six percent negligence on his part and instead using joint and several liability. We affirm.

5307 - Ferguson v. Amerco U-Haul

In this appeal from the Workers' Compensation Commission, George Ferguson argues the Appellate Panel erred in finding he failed to carry his burden of proving: (1) eMove, Inc. was his statutory employer; (2) he was an employee of Sean Unterkoefler d/b/a United Stand Moving (Unterkoefler); and (3) Unterkoefler employed four or more employees during the relevant period, making Unterkoefler an uninsured employer subject to the Workers' Compensation Act. We affirm.

5308 - Clemmons v. Lowe's Home Centers

In this appeal from the Appellate Panel of the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission, Henton Clemmons contends the Appellate Panel erred in (1) proceeding with a hearing to determine his permanent disability award over his objection; (2) not finding him permanently and totally disabled due to a compensable work-related back injury; (3) not making a separate award for myelopathy as a neurological injury; (4) not making a separate award for a low back injury; and (5) assigning great weight to the medical opinion of his authorized treating physician. We affirm.

5310 - Rickerson v. Karl

Appellant Thomas Rickerson appeals the trial court's dismissal of his Notice of Intent to File Suit with prejudice after Rickerson failed to comply with the mandatory mediation requirement of section 15-79-125 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2014). We reverse the trial court's decision and remand this case.

4-8-2015 - Opinions

5311 - Brown v. Brown

In this appeal from family court, the court of appeals affirms the family court's final divorce decree, finding the family court properly (1) divided the marital estate given the duration of George Brown (Husband) and Julie Brown's (Wife) marriage, (2) awarded custody of the parties' minor children to Wife, and (3) ordered Husband to pay a portion of Wife's attorney's fees and guardian ad litem fees.

4-15-2015 - Opinions

5312 - Hanold v. Watson's Orchard Property Owners Association

On appeal from the circuit court, Appellants Pelham Farm, LLC, Legacy One, LLC, an unknown trustee of the revocable trust agreement established by James B. Stephens, and Jay Stephens and Mike Stephens, as co-personal representatives of the estate of James B. Stephens contend the circuit court erred in finding their amendment to the Declaration of Restrictions and Covenants that governed the development of property in Greenville County, South Carolina, was invalid for lack of a majority vote. The court of appeals affirms the circuit court, finding the plain and ordinary language of the Restrictions and Covenants requires the lots at issue to be developed prior to entitling the owner a vote to amend the Restrictions and Covenants. Because the lots were not developed, the court of appeals held Appellants' votes were invalid and the amended Restrictions and Covenants were not enforceable.

4-22-2015 - Opinions

5313 - State v. King

Rakeem D. King appeals his convictions for attempted murder, armed robbery, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. We find the trial court erred by (1) charging the jury that a specific intent to kill is not an element of attempted murder and (2) allowing hearsay testimony as to the number of shots King fired. These errors require reversal of King's conviction for attempted murder. However, we find the court's errors caused King no prejudice as to his convictions for armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, and we affirm those convictions. We remand for a new trial for attempted murder. Judge Williams concurs in result only.

5314 - State v. Bash

The State appeals the circuit court's decision granting Walter M. Bash's motion to suppress drug evidence against him. We reverse and remand.