May 15, 2013 South Carolina Court of Appeals published opinions

Procter v Whitlark & Whitlark, Inc.

Procter gambled on video poker machines in Whitlark’s store. She ultimately stole money from her employer and convicted of theft. She sued to recover her gambling losses. Whitlark raised a defense of in pari delicto. The trial court rejected the defense, allowed the suit and judgment was entered against Whitlark. The panel affirmed. It held that in pari delicto does not apply in gambling cases where the gambler seeks a return of all losses greater than $50 as South Carolina code 32-1-10 abolished in pari delicto as defense to such suits. This effectuates the legislature’s policy of protecting gamblers form themselves and encouraging providers of gambling opportunities to stop their activities.

State v Lewis

Lewis was convicted of aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse. The panel reversed. It held there was no evidence Lewis saw the fatal abuse and even if he knew a crime would occur, that is insufficient to support a conviction. The panel also held that failure to intervene is not sufficient to support a conviction as an overt act is necessary. A majority of the panel held that there was a failure of proof as to the mental state as Lewis sought help for the child and initially thought she had a seizure. One judge concurred noting he found sufficient circumstantial evidence to support a finding of the required knowing mental state.

Boykin Contracting, Inc. v Kirby

Boykin did electrical work for Kirby and sued when Kirby refused to pay the balance due under the contract. The trial court found no contract existed, but, awarded damages under quantum meruit. The panel affirmed. It held Kirby received a benefit as he was listed as the owner of the property both before and after the work was done and the work allowed Kirby to run his bingo operation. The panel also affirmed the damages and prejudgment interest award holding the amount and calculation were within the evidence presented at trial.

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