Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - Week of 08/19/2019
8-21-2019 - Opinions

5678 - Nelson v. Nelson
In this cross-appeal arising from an action for divorce, Harrison Shelby Nelson (Husband) appeals the family court's final order and final amended order. Melissa Star Nelson (Wife) appeals the family court's order granting Husband's motion pursuant to Rule 60(b) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. On appeal, Husband argues the family court erred in (1) finding the parties' property at 6 Judith Street had no mortgage; (2) valuing the property at 6 Judith Street; (3) finding Husband had a 50% ownership interest in 6 Judith Street; (4) valuing parties' property at 109 North Shelmore Boulevard; (5) failing to equitably divide the parties' debt; (6) including a vehicle owned by Wife's father as a marital asset and the loan to finance that vehicle as a marital debt; (7) making numerous findings not supported by the record; (8) failing to credit Husband for using the sale of proceeds from an investment property at 18 Reid Street for marital purposes; (9) failing to equitably divide the parties' personal property; and (10) requiring Husband to contribute to Wife's attorney's fees. In her cross-appeal, Wife argues the family court erred in (1) finding excusable neglect existed to grant Husband's Rule 60(b) motion; (2) causing her unfair prejudice by granting Husband's Rule 60(b) motion; and (3) failing to find Husband was estopped from seeking relief under Rule 60(b) due to his own bad conduct. We affirm.
5679 - Curry v. Carolina Insurance Group of SC
In this cross-appeal involving an insurance contract, Carolina Insurance Group of South Carolina, Inc. (CIG) and Maurice Derrick (collectively, CIG/Derrick) appeal the circuit court's (1) grant of Porthemos Curry's motion for summary judgment as to their affirmative defense of release and (2) considering extrinsic evidence in dismissing their defense of release. Curry also appeals, arguing the circuit court abused its discretion in granting CIG/Derrick's motion to amend their answer at trial to assert the affirmative defense of release. We affirm.
5680 - Newbern v. Ford Motor Company
Steven and Claudia Newbern sued Ford Motor Company alleging strict liability and negligence claims against Ford because of injuries Mr. Newbern suffered when the airbag in their vehicle deployed during an accident. On appeal, the Newberns argue the trial court erred in granting Ford's motion for directed verdict. Finding a lack of evidence in the record to support the Newberns' claims, we affirm.
5681 - Ralph v. McLaughlin
This case involves a property dispute on Seabrook Island between neighbors Richard and Eugenia Ralph ("the Ralphs"), and Paul and Susan McLaughlin ("the McLaughlins"). The dispute in question concerns the destruction of a drainage easement by the McLaughlins that, the Ralphs allege, exacerbated drainage issues on the Ralphs' property. At trial, the jury found for the Ralphs on their cause of action for trespass and awarded them $1,000 in nominal damages. On appeal, the Ralphs argue the circuit court erred in 1) failing to apply the rulings and factual determinations from a previous grant of summary judgment to a third-party defendant as the law of the case; 2) entering a directed verdict for the McLaughlins on the issue of punitive damages; 3) failing to find the McLaughlins trespassed as a matter of law; and 4) failing to grant the Ralphs a new trial absolute, a new trial nisi additur, or a new trial on damages. We reverse and remand the case for a new trial on compensatory damages and punitive damages.