January 2, 2012 South Carolina Court of Appeals published opinions

State v Frazier 

Frazier was involved in altercation with a former friend. Shortly thereafter, he said someone in a car shot at him with a rifle. He then ducked behind an SUV and returned fire with a handgun. The shots killed the driver of the car who happened to be the former friend he had the altercation with. At trial, Frazier requested the jury be charged on self defense and voluntary manslaughter. The trial court refused and additionally charged the jury that malice could be inferred from the use of the handgun. The jury convicted Frazier of murder and possessing the handgun. The panel affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. It held that the trial court erred in denying the self defense charge as Frazier was not required to risk being shot by running from the SUV to an apartment before his right to self defense was triggered. As the shooting form the car was unproved and there was evidence the victim shot at Frazier, self defense should have been charged. The panel therefore remanded for a new trial. It upheld the refusal to charge voluntary manslaughter as there was no evidence Frazier was under emotional distress. Finally, it held the implied malice charge was error as self defense should have been charged.

Lincoln General Insurance Company v Progressive Northern Insurance Company 

An insured of Progressive took out an auto policy which specifically excluded her husband as a covered driver. She later entrusted the car to her husband who negligently injured an insured of Lincoln. After paying uninsured benefits to its insured, Lincoln sued Progressive arguing it was liable under South Carolina’s minim coverage act. The trial court agreed and granted judgment to Lincoln. The panel reversed. It held that the exclusion of the husband here was authorized under South Carolina Code 38-77-340 and thus there is no coverage. It distinguished prior cases which found coverage on the grounds that the exception here is itself public policy and must be applied. It noted that the cases relied upon by Lincoln dealt with the effect of a failure to report an accident on liability and the Utah case was statutorily overruled. It finally noted that other states looking at similar language of the uniform act have reached the same conclusion that the exclusion is enforceable.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s