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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - May 2018

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.

5-2-2018 - Opinions

5557 - Skywaves I Corporation v. Branch Banking and Trust

This cross-appeal arises out of a suit brought by Skywaves I Corporation (Skywaves) against Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T) and James Edahl. Skywaves brought suit against BB&T for breach of contract and breach of contract accompanied by fraudulent acts and against both BB&T and Edahl for negligent misrepresentation, negligence, and violation of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act (SCUTPA). Skywaves appeals the circuit court's orders (1) granting BB&T's and Edahl's motions to strike its demand for a jury trial, (2) granting summary judgment to BB&T and Edahl as to its claims for negligence and negligent misrepresentation, (3) dismissing its SCUTPA claim, and (4) denying its motion to strike BB&T's and Edahl's answers. BB&T appeals the circuit court's order denying it summary judgment as to Skywaves' claims for breach of contract and breach of contract accompanied by fraudulent acts. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and dismiss in part.

5558 - Clark v. Clark

In this divorce action, Amika T. Clark appeals the family court's awarding joint custody to her and Tyrus J. Clark (Husband) of their daughter. She contends the court erred in finding exceptional circumstances supported such an award. She also maintains the family court erred in granting Husband's motion to reconsider the parties' settlement agreement in regards to the equitable division of property. We affirm.

5-16-2018 - Opinions

5559 - Commissioners v. City of Fountain Inn

In this appeal from a declaratory judgment action, the City of Fountain Inn (Fountain Inn) appeals the circuit court's determination Fountain Inn may not provide natural gas service in a particular area without the consent of the Commissioners of Public Works of the City of Laurens, South Carolina, also known as Laurens Commission of Public Works, (LCPW) because that area was within the LCPW's "designated service area." We affirm.

5-23-2018 - Opinions

5560 - Urban v. Kerscher

This is a child custody dispute between Nataschja Urban and family friends, Leo Kerscher and Mary Crew, over Urban's minor daughter (Child). Urban appeals the ruling of the family court granting custody of Child to Kerscher and Crew. Urban argues the factors outlined in Moore v. Moore, 300 S.C. 75, 386 S.E.2d 456 (1989) govern and militate the return of Child to her custody. Alternatively, Urban argues she has met the higher burden of demonstrating a substantial change in circumstances warranting the return of Child to her custody. We reverse and remand.

5561 - Innovative Waste Management v. Crest Energy Partners

Appellant appeals the denial of its Rule 60(b), SCRCP, motion after the dismissal of its lawsuit pursuant to Form 4 Order signed only by the Clerk of Court. We find the Form 4 Dismissal Order is a complete nullity without legal effect, and we reverse the order denying Appellant's Rule 60(b), SCRCP, motion.

5562 - Farmer v. CAGC Insurance Company

In this declaratory judgment action to determine which entity is responsible to pay certain claims after CAGC Insurance's insolvency, the South Carolina Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association appeals the circuit court's decision to dismiss CompTrustAGC of South Carolina, a worker's compensation self-insurance trust, from the action. We reverse and remand, finding CompTrustAGC's dismissal was improper.

5563 - Gary v. Lowcountry Medical Transport

In this action Charles Gary (Appellant) asserts the circuit court erred by determining he was not Blondell Gary's husband at the time of her death and not an heir to her estate. Appellant asserts the estate should be estopped from taking a position contradictory to its pleadings in previous cases. We affirm.

5-30-2018 - Opinions

5564 - Kunst v. Loree

In this civil matter, David Loree appeals the award of actual damages to Scott Kunst on his defamation cause of action. Loree argues the circuit court erred in sustaining the jury's verdict because (1) Loree proved the substantial truth of the allegedly defamatory statements and proved a qualified privilege existed, (2) sufficient evidence did not support the verdict, and (3) the verdict was excessive. We affirm.