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Torts

An LLC Member’s Personal Liability Returns to the Realm of Uncertainty in South Carolina

Written by Jonathan Knicely

Last year, in 16 Jade Street, LLC v. R. Design Const. Co., LLC, the supreme court determined that the Limited Liability Company Act “only protects non-torfeasor [LLC] members from vicarious liability and does not insulate the tortfeasor himself from personal liability for his actions.”

Carl Aten and his wife were the only two members of R. Design Const. Co., LLC.  R. Design was hired to serve as the general contractor for a four-unit condominium complex in Beaufort, SC.  As the general contractor, Aten’s main responsibilities were to supervise the project and set the design standards.  After problems arose involving AAC block construction and framing, the structural engineer was called in to inspect the project.  The inspection revealed four defects, but Aten gave assurances that the problems would be fixed.  R. Design and Aten eventually left the project without fixing anything, and an inspection conducted after R. Design’s departure revealed thirty-four additional defects. Continue reading

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She Could Not Collect On a Secondary Insurance Policy Because the Primary Insurance Policy Was Not Exhausted

In Bardsley v. Government Employees Insurance Co., the supreme court held that Bardsley could not recover under a secondary insurance policy when she had not exhausted the primary insurance policy.

While driving 85 to 96 miles in a 35 mile-per-hour speed zone, John Ludwig drove his employer’s Maserati off the road and into the Bardsley’s home.  The vehicle crashed into the rear of the house and the airborne vehicle struck Frederic Bardsley, killing him instantly.  The vehicle continued through the house and came to rest in the front yard. Continue reading

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“I’m sorry, Your 7.39 and 3.6 Million Dollar Judgments Are Vacated; the State Court Lacked Jurisdiction over the Claims.”

In Limehouse v. Hulsey, the supreme court held that a state court does not have jurisdiction over a case remanded from federal court until the state court receives a certified remand from the federal court.

Lawton Limehouse Sr. (Father) and his son, Lawton Limehouse Jr. (Son), owned a staffing agency called L&L Services, LLC (L&L).  In 2004, The Post and Courier published five articles about house raids on L&L rental homes, including fines and fees paid.  Then, Paul Hulsey, of the Hulsey law practice, filed a lawsuit on behalf former employees against L&L alleging Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) violations.  Continue reading

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TLC’s Failure to Respond to a Letter from Opposing Counsel Did Not Constitute Waiver of Receiving a Written Order from the Court

 In Hollman v. Woolfson, the supreme court reversed a circuit court’s determination that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction and also reversed the circuit court’s construction of a protective order.

John Hollman underwent three laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgeries at TLC Laser Eye Centers and TLC The Laser Center (collectively, TLC).  His vision began deteriorating after the surgeries.  He instituted a suit against TLC and the individual physicians that performed the surgeries; his wife also joined the suit, seeking damages for loss of consortium. Continue reading

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The General Assembly Did Not Intend to Deprive Someone Injured by Medical Malpractice of the Opportunity to Recover Because of a Failure to Comply with the Mediation Timeline.

In Ross v. Waccamaw Community Hospital, the supreme court held that “the failure to complete the mediation conference [as required by S.C. Code Ann. § 15-79-125 (Supp. 2012)] does not divest the trial court of subject matter jurisdiction and dismissal is not mandated.”

In 2005, the General Assembly passed tort reform for medical malpractice claims.  This reform changed the method for filing a medical malpractice claim by requiring a plaintiff to file a Notice of Intent to File Suit (“Notice of Intent”) before instituting a civil action for medical malpractice.  See § 15-79-125(A).  The issue before the court, however, dealt with Subsection (C), which states: Continue reading

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You Shouldn’t Let Your Child Use Your Vehicle

In Gause v. Smithers, the supreme court held that a plaintiff does not need to assert an allegation against a child to pursue a family purpose doctrine claim against a parent.

Son, a twenty-five year old man, lived with his parents.  He drove a Firebird owned by his father.  Son was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving.  Rather than pulling off the highway and into an emergency lane, Son stopped in the left lane on a four lane highway.  Officer Gause pulled up behind him.  Son was arrested and taken away by another officer, and Gause stayed behind for the tow truck.  While waiting, Nathan Smithers rear-ended Gause’s police cruiser, causing it to crash into the Firebird. Continue reading

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