Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - October 2019

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.

10-2-2019 - Opinions

5685 - Nationwide v. Knight

In this declaratory judgment action to determine whether underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage exists under an automobile insurance policy, Kristina Knight (Knight), individually and as personal representative of the estate of Daniel Knight (Decedent), appeals the circuit court's order granting summary judgment to Nationwide Insurance Company of America (Nationwide). Knight argues South Carolina's excluded driver statute, section 38-77-340 of the South Carolina Code (2015), and public policy considerations prohibit an insurer from excluding a resident relative from uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, even when the policyholder has executed an endorsement intentionally excluding the resident relative from "all coverages in [the] policy." We affirm the circuit court's order granting summary judgment.

5686 - Eggleston v. United Parcel Service, Inc

Cortland James Eggleston appeals the trial court's dismissal of his action against United Parcel Service (UPS) for personal injuries he suffered after UPS failed to timely delivery thyroid medication. His wife, Rebecca McCutcheon, appeals the trial court's dismissal of her loss of consortium action. Eggleston and McCutcheon (collectively, Appellants) assert the trial court erred in holding their claims were preempted by federal law. We affirm.

10-9-2019 - Opinions

5687 - Croft v. Town of Summerville

This appeal addresses two decisions issued by the Town of Summerville Board of Architectural Review (the Board) in its consideration of a mixed-use development project proposed for downtown Summerville. Appellants contend the circuit court erred by (1) considering new evidence submitted after Appellants appealed the Board's decisions, (2) failing to remand the case for the parties to develop a sufficient record, and (3) approving the decisions despite the Board's failure to adopt, develop, and comply with established rules of procedure as required by town ordinance. Appellants further assert the Board's decisions lacked the necessary factual support, the Board held meetings in violation of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and the Board erroneously issued a certificate of appropriateness for the project without considering public objections. We affirm.

10-23-2019 - Opinions

5688 - Thornton v. Thornton

In this domestic relations matter, Anita L. Thornton (Wife) appeals the family court's final divorce decree, arguing the family court erred in (1) identifying, valuing, and apportioning marital assets and debts; (2) miscalculating Wife's child support obligation; (3) awarding primary custody of the parties' two children to Michael P. Thornton (Husband); (4) failing to find Wife prejudiced by a "structural" error related to a hearing on her petition to enforce visitation; (5) relying too heavily on the guardian ad litem's (GAL) conclusions; (6) relying on the forensic consultant, Dr. Marc Harari's conclusions, which were based on information provided by the GAL; (7) granting Husband a divorce on the ground of adultery; (8) failing to find a conflict of interest regarding a personal relationship between Husband and an employee of the Dorchester County Clerk of Court; and (9) requiring the parties to pay their own attorney's fees, requiring Wife to pay a greater percentage of the GAL's fees and Dr. Harari's fees, and requiring Wife to pay the private investigator's fees. We affirm as modified.

10-30-2019 - Opinions

5689 - Heslin v. Lenahan

This appeal addresses whether a trust beneficiary's filing of a complaint with the South Carolina Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) against a lawyer for the trustees of the trust triggers (1) the no-contest clause in the trust and (2) a hold harmless and indemnity clause contained in a settlement agreement arising out of a dispute over administration of the trust. We conclude that under the circumstances here it does not and affirm the ruling of the trial court.