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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - December 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.

12-2-2015 - Opinions

5365 - Lyons v. Fidelity National

The Security Title Guarantee Corporation of Baltimore (Security Title) appeals the circuit court's grant of partial summary judgment in favor of Thomas P. Lyons and Desiree J. Lyons (collectively, the Lyons). Security Title argues the circuit court erred in (1) finding the Lyons' claims were not barred by the statute of limitations; (2) holding a county "no-build" resolution appeared in the public record and was available for title examination when the policy was issued; (3) holding a zoning resolution imposing a land restriction was a defect in title triggering coverage under the policy; (4) finding the Lyons did not fail to mitigate their damages; and (5) determining the date of loss. We affirm.

12-9-2015 - Opinions

5366 - Gooldy v. The Storage Center

The Storage Center - Platt Springs, LLC (Storage Center) appeals the master-in-equity's order finding David R. Gooldy had easement rights over Storage Center's property and awarding Gooldy actual and punitive damages. On appeal, Storage Center argues the master erred in (1) finding the existence of an implied easement based on a deed that described the property by referencing a plat with a "50' Road" notation outside the boundary lines of the property conveyed, (2) finding the existence of an implied easement when the common grantor's representative testified there was no intent to create an easement or road, and (3) awarding actual and punitive damages. We reverse.

5367 - Auto-Owners Insurance v. Benjamin

In this declaratory judgment action, Auto-Owners Insurance Company appeals the circuit court's granting of summary judgment in favor of Respondents Elouise and Melvin Benjamin. Auto-Owners argues the circuit erred in determining that a commercial general liability policy issued to Pee Dee Heating and Cooling Specialists, Inc. provides coverage for an automobile accident involving a Pee Dee employee because its automobile policy provides the only applicable coverage. We affirm.

5368 - SCDOT v. Powell

In this appeal from a condemnation action, David Powell argues the circuit court erred in granting the South Carolina Department of Transportation's (SCDOT) motion for partial summary judgment.

5369 - Wofford v. City of Spartanburg

Boisha Wofford and Kaelyn Wofford (Claimants) appeal the Workers' Compensation Commission's order finding Brian Wofford was not acting within the course and scope of his employment at the time of his death under an exception to the "going and coming rule."

5370 - Rhame v. Charleston County School District

In this appeal from the Appellate Panel of the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission (Appellate Panel), Ricky Rhame argues the Appellate Panel erred in finding his claim for a repetitive trauma injury to his back was barred by the statute of limitations.

5371 - Fisher v. Huckabee

In this civil matter, Betty Fisher appeals the circuit court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Bessie Huckabee, Kay Passailague Slade, Sandra Byrd, and Peter Kouten (collectively "Respondents"). Fisher argues the court erred in (1) holding she lacked standing to bring a survival action against Respondents on behalf of her deceased aunt as a "real representative"; (2) failing to find Kouten waived the issue of standing; (3) failing to find she had standing based on equitable principles of trust law; (4) failing to find South Carolina public policy supports giving her third-party standing; (5) granting summary judgment when genuine issues of material fact existed as to her claims; (6) failing to rule upon the motion to disqualify Kouten as counsel for Huckabee, Slade, and Byrd; and (7) considering trial counsel's arguments as factual contentions. We affirm.

12-16-2015 - Opinions

5342 - Goodwin v. Landquest Development

John and Louise Goodwin and Gary and Joyce Owens appeal the circuit court's refusal to restore their case to the docket after it was "stricken" due to one defendant's bankruptcy. The circuit court denied the motion to restore the case on the ground the case was barred by the statute of limitations. We hold that because the Goodwins and Owenses complied with the statute of limitations when they initially filed and served the summons and complaint, it was not necessary for them to comply with the statute again when they attempted to restore the case to the docket. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

12-30-2015 - Opinions

5372 - Mangal v. State

In 2007, Farid A. Mangal was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) with a minor, two counts of second-degree CSC, lewd act upon a minor, and incest. He appeals from the denial and dismissal of his application for post-conviction relief (PCR), arguing (1) trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to bolstering, (2) trial counsel was ineffective for failing to move for a mistrial in response to bolstering, (3) trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the qualification of a forensic interviewer as an expert, (4) trial counsel's performance as a whole was deficient and prejudicial, (5) the PCR court erred in finding the bolstering issue was not raised, and (6) PCR counsel was ineffective for not sufficiently raising the bolstering issue. We reverse and remand.

5373 - Jones v. Builders Investment Group

In this civil appeal, Robert Jones contends the circuit court erred in granting Builders Investment Group, LLC (BIG) and Brian D. Boone's (collectively "Respondents") motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV). Jones claims the circuit court (1) erroneously held his personal payment of the parties' business loan discharged Respondents from their legal responsibility to contribute toward the payoff of the business loan and (2) misconstrued the terms of the parties' operating agreement regarding personal guaranties. We affirm.