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February 2018



The summary below each case is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what issues are included in a case which will be argued. The summary is not a limit on what issues a party to a case may present at oral argument.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Supreme Court Courtroom

09:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2015-001981    The State, Respondent, v. Gary Eugene Lott, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender Kathrine H. Hudgins, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson, Senior Assistant Attorney General David Spencer and Assistant Attorney General Mark R. Farthing, all of Columbia, and Solicitor David M. Stumbo, of Greenwood, for Respondent.

Gary Eugene Lott was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and committing a lewd act on a minor. The jury found Lott guilty of committing a lewd act on a minor. Lott appealed his conviction, and the court of appeals affirmed in State v. Lott, Op. No. 2015-UP-266 (S.C. Ct. App. filed May 27, 2015). Lott filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, which the Court granted. Lott argues the trial court erred in refusing to require the State to accept the stipulation that he had a prior conviction for a crime listed in section 23-3-430 of the South Carolina Code when attempting to prove the charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

10:00 a.m.           (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2017-000787    Amy Elizabeth Williams, as the Personal Representative of the Estate for a deceased minor; and Amy Elizabeth Williams, individually, Plaintiffs, v. Quest Diagnostics, Inc.; Athena Diagnostics, Inc.; and ADI Holdings, Inc., Defendants.

Bradford W. Cranshaw, Trevor M. Hughey and G. Robert DeLoach, III, all of Grier, Cox & Cranshaw, LLC, of Columbia; and Matthew M. McGuire and James Ervin, both of The Ervin & McGuire Law Firm, of Columbia, for Plaintiffs. John C. Moylan, III and Alice W. Parham Casey, both of Wyche, P.A., of Columbia, Wallace K. Lightsey and Wade S. Kolb, III, both of Wyche, P.A., of Greenville, for Defendants.

The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina asks this Court to determine whether "a federally licensed genetic testing laboratory" is acting as a "licensed health care provider" as defined under S.C. Code Ann. ยง 38-79-410 "when, at the request of a patient's treating physician, the laboratory performs genetic testing to detect an existing disease or disorder."

10:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2016-002248    Travis A. Roddey, Individually and as the Personal Representative of the Estate of Alice Monique Beckham Hancock, deceased, Appellant, v. Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P., U.S. Security Associates, Inc., and Derrick L. Jones, Respondents.

Whitney B. Harrison and Shawn Deery, both of McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, of Columbia and S. Randall Hood, of Rock Hill, for Appellant. Stephanie G. Flynn, of Smith Moore Leatherwood, LLP, of Greenville and W. Howard Boyd, Jr., of Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A., of Greenville, for Respondents.

Pursuant to Rule 204(b), SCACR, we certified this appeal to review the circuit court's decision to bar evidence pertaining to appellant's cause of action for negligent hiring, training, supervision, and entrustment on the basis of res judicata.

Thursday, February 15, 2018
Supreme Court Courtroom

09:30 a.m.           (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2017-001540    Government Employees Insurance Company, Plaintiff, v. Jack A. Poole, individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Jennifer Knight Poole, Defendant.

J.R. Murphy and Wesley B. Sawyer, both of Murphy & Grantland, of Columbia, for Plaintiff. Angela Christy Tyner and Ronald A. Maxwell, Sr., both of Maxwell Law Firm, P.C., of Aiken, for Defendants.

The Court answers the following certified question from the U.S. District Court: Under South Carolina law, when an insured seeks coverage under an automobile insurance policy, must punitive damages be apportioned pro rata between those sustained for bodily injury and those sustained for property damage where the insurance policy is a split limits policy?

10:00 a.m.           (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2014-000764    The State, Respondent, v. Stephanie Irene Greene, Appellant.

Clarence Rauch Wise, of Greenwood, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan M. Wilson and Senior Assistant Attorney General David A. Spencer, both of Columbia, and Solicitor Barry Joe Barnette, of Spartanburg, for Respondent.

Stephanie Irene Greene was convicted of homicide by child abuse, involuntary manslaughter, and unlawful conduct towards a child. Greene appealed and this Court certified the appeal. Greene alleges the trial court erred in (1) not directing a verdict for Greene on all three charges because the State did not prove the morphine in Greene's deceased child came from breastfeeding, (2) not directing a verdict for Greene or granting Greene a new trial on the homicide by child abuse charge because the State did not prove Greene acted with extreme indifference, (3) not instructing the jury that convicting Greene of more than one of the charges would violate double jeopardy, and (4) not requiring the State in its closing argument to open on the law and the facts of the case and reply only to arguments raised in Greene's closing argument.

Cases to be Submitted Without Oral Argument

Marshall Dewitt McGaha, Petitioner, v. State of South Carolina, Respondent.

Appellate Defender Kathrine Haggard Hudgins, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan M. Wilson and Assistant Attorney General DeShawn Herman Mitchell, both of Columbia, for Respondent.

David Carmichael, Respondent, v. State of South Carolina, Petitioner.

Attorney General Alan M. Wilson and Assistant Attorney General James Clayton Mitchell, III, both of Columbia, for Petitioner. Chief Appellate Defender Robert Michael Dudek, of Columbia, for Respondent.

Altony Brooks, Petitioner, v. State of South Carolina, Respondent.

Appellate Defender Robert M. Pachak, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan M. Wilson and Assistant Attorney General Justin James Hunter, both of Columbia, for Respondent.

Kenneth Lee Hilton, Petitioner, v. State of South Carolina, Respondent.

Appellate Defender Robert M. Pachak, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan M. Wilson and Assistant Attorney General Valerie Garcia Giovanoli, both of Columbia, for Respondent.