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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Supreme Court Published Opinions - March 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.

3-6-2019 - Opinions

27866 - Osbey v. State

We reverse the denial of Osbey's PCR claim because the record does not reflect a valid waiver of Osbey's right to counsel.

3-11-2019 - Opinions

27806 - Sentry Select Insurance v. Maybank Law Firm

On a certified question from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, we find an insurer may maintain a direct malpractice action against counsel hired to represent its insured, under the limitations we will describe in the opinion.

3-13-2019 - Opinions

27867 - Skydive v. Horry County

In this case the Court clarifies that when a trial court dismisses a complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, the trial court should allow the plaintiff leave to amend the complaint pursuant to Rule 15(a) before filing the final order of dismissal.

3-20-2019 - Opinions

27868 - Wright v. PRG Real Estate Management

Denise Wright sued Respondents for negligence, alleging Respondents voluntarily undertook a duty to provide security to residents of her apartment complex and breached this duty, thereby causing her damages. The circuit court granted summary judgment to Respondents, and a divided court of appeals affirmed. The Court reverses the court of appeals and remands the matter to the circuit court for trial.

27869 - Shaw v. Psychemedics Corporation

The Court certified the following question from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina: Under South Carolina law, does a drug testing laboratory that has a contract with an employer to conduct and evaluate drug tests owe a duty of care to the employees who are subject to the testing so as to give rise to a cause of action for negligence for failure to properly and accurately perform the test and report the results? The Court answers this question in the affirmative.

27870 - Sweeney v. Sweeney

In this marital litigation, we clarify that in determining alimony, family courts should consider the effect of investment income on both parties.

3-27-2019 - Opinions

27871 - Sierra Club v. SCDHEC

The Court granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in Sierra Club v. S.C. Dep't of Health & Envtl. Control, 414 S.C. 581, 779 S.E.2d 805 (Ct. App. 2015), wherein the court of appeals affirmed the administrative law court as to all issues, except as to four subsections of the regulation governing DHEC's issuance and renewal of Chem-Nuclear's license to operate a disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste. We affirm as modified in part and reverse in part the court of appeals. We remand this matter to DHEC for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

27872 - State v. Elvin Cervantes-Pavon

The Court granted Dennis Cervantes-Pavon's petition for a writ of certiorari to determine whether the court of appeals erred in affirming the circuit court's denial of immunity from prosecution under the Protection of Persons and Property Act, (the Act) S.C. Code Ann. ยงยง 16-11-410 to 450 (2015). State v. Cervantes-Pavon, Op. No. 2017-UP-258 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 28, 2017). We write today to clarify several points regarding the Act and reverse and remand for a new immunity hearing.

27873 - Marshall v. Dodds

The Court affirms as modified the court of appeals' decision in Marshall v. Dodds, 417 S.C. 196, 789 S.E.2d 88 (Ct. App. 2016).

27874 - Huffman v. Sunshine Recycling

Following her arrest for receiving stolen goods, Meredith Huffman filed a complaint against Sunshine Recycling, LLC, and Aiken Electric Cooperative, Inc., for negligence, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Sunshine and Aiken. The court of appeals reversed. Huffman v. Sunshine Recycling, LLC, 417 S.C. 514, 790 S.E.2d 401 (Ct. App. 2016). Both Sunshine and Aiken filed petitions for writs of certiorari to review the court of appeals' opinion. We granted the petitions, and now reverse the court of appeals' opinion as to Sunshine and affirm as to Aiken.