Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Department
Supreme Court Published Opinions - January 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.

1-7-2015 - Opinions

27475 - North American Rescue Products v. Richardson

This declaratory judgment action was commenced by North American Rescue Products, Inc. (NARP) to determine whether P. J. Richardson had the right to purchase 7.5 % of NARP's stock at a discounted price despite the existence of a termination agreement which purported to end the parties' relationship. The Court holds the termination agreement unambiguously ended any right Richardson had to purchase the stock. Accordingly, the Court reverses and remands for entry of judgment in favor of NARP.

27476 - State v. Hawes

The Court vacates the opinion of the court of appeals, which affirmed the trial court's finding that Respondent was entitled to early parole eligibility based on the incorrect version of the relevant statute, and remands for reconsideration in light of the correct version of the statute.

1-14-2015 - Opinions

27477 - State v. Nesbitt

The Court affirms as modified the circuit court's finding that the defendant entered knowing and voluntary pleas as to three of four charges listed in a negotiated plea agreement.

27478 - Nicholson v. SCDSS

In this workers' compensation case, the Court holds the claimant is entitled to workers' compensation benefits as a matter of law and reverses the court of appeals' opinion in Nicholson v. S.C. Department of Social Services, 405 S.C. 537, 784 S.E.2d 256 (Ct. App. 2013).

27479 - Barnes v. Charter 1 Realty

The Court reverses Barnes v. Charter 1 Realty, Op. No 2012-UP-025 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Jan. 25, 2012). and holds the claimant is entitled to workers' compensation benefits because she did not suffer an idiopathic fall and her injuries arose out of her employment.

1-21-2015 - Opinions

27480 - In the Matter of Brian N. Davis

This is an opinion in which the Court disbars a lawyer.

27481 - In the Matter of John W. Howard

This is an opinion in which the Court publicly reprimands a lawyer.

27482 - In the Matter of William D. Rhoad

This is an opinion in which the Court publicly reprimands a lawyer.

27483 - In the Matter of David Weldon Gantt

This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court publicly reprimands a lawyer.

27484 - Columbia CSAHS v. SC Medical

The Court affirms the court of appeals' finding that the medical malpractice statute of repose applies to indemnity claims.

1-28-2015 - Opinions

27485 - Taghivand v. Rite Aid

This certified question from the federal district court asks whether, under the public policy exception to at-will employment, an employee has a cause of action for wrongful termination if they are fired for reporting suspected criminal activity, specifically, shoplifting, to law enforcement. We answer this question in the negative.

27486 - Carolina First Bank v. BADD, L.L.C.

The Court reverses the Court of Appeals' decision and holds William McKown is not entitled to a jury trial. S.C. Code Ann. 29-3-660 (2007), with its origins pre-dating the enactment of the South Carolina Constitution, confers upon the court the power to adjudge a deficiency. Therefore, McKown is not entitled to a jury trial based solely on Carolina First Bank's decision to join McKown as a party to the foreclosure action pursuant to this statute. As for McKown's counterclaims, the Court holds that because the legal counterclaims are permissive, McKown has waived his right to a jury trial by asserting them in a foreclosure action.

27487 - State v. Brewer

In this direct appeal, the Court affirms Appellant's convictions for assault and battery with the intent to kill and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. However, the Court reverses Appellant's conviction for murder and remands for a new trial.

27488 - State v. Morris

The Court affirms the court of appeals' opinion in State v. Morris, 395 S.C. 600, 603, 720 S.E.2d 468, 469 (Ct. App. 2011), finding the officers had reasonable suspicion to prolong the traffic stop and probable cause to search the vehicle Morris was driving.

27489 - Cullen v. McNeal

We granted a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' decision in Cullen v. McNeal, 390 S.C. 470, 702 S.E.2d 378 (Ct. App. 2010). We dismiss the writ as improvidently granted.

27490 - McNaughton v. Charleston Charter School

The Court affirms the circuit court's decisions denying the Charleston Charter School for Math and Science's motions for a directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict on McNaughton's wrongful termination/breach of contract claim; permitting the jury to award special damages; and granting attorney's fees to McNaughton under section 15-77-300 of the South Carolina Code.

1-28-2015 - Orders

ORDER - Hall v. State of South Carolina
We agreed to consider Petitioner Hall's allegations of unfairness in our original jurisdiction "to determine what relief, if any, may be available to inmates who are being adversely affected by unserved [arrest] warrants." Hall v. State, S.C. Sup. Ct. Order (filed August 14, 2014). On December 9, 2014, we heard oral arguments concerning the practices and procedures for serving arrest warrants on persons incarcerated in the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC).