April 2, 2014 South Carolina Supreme Court published opinions

Lee v University of South Carolina

University assessed a fee on members of its Gamecock Club for the right to purchase game tickets. Lee sued arguing the fees violated his agreement with the University. The trail courted granted summary judgment to University. The Court, 4-1, reversed. It held the agreement between Lee and the university ambiguously granted Lee the right to purchase tickets and did not grant University the right to impose fees or change any terms. The dissent argued that the agreement was not breached as Lee still as the right to purchase tickets albeit he is now required to pay a fee first.

Green v United States Automobile Association Auto and Property Insurance Company

Company rejected Green’s claim for direct coverage and uninsured motorist benefits for injuries to her son when the car Green was driving was hit. The trial court affirmed ruling the family member exclusion applied to both claims. The Court affirmed. Noting its reluctance to do so, the Court held the family member exclusion in the policy was valid under Florida law, did not violate South Carolina public policy and barred both claims here.

Catawba Indian Nation v State of South Carolina 

Nation filed a declaratory action arguing that the Gaming Cruise Act, South Carolina Code 3-11-100 et seq., authorized video gambling on its reservation. The circuit court ruled the claim barred by issue and claim preclusion and failed on the merits. The Court affirmed in part and reversed in part. It held that because the Cruise Act claim was not raised in an earlier declaratory action, it was not bared by either issue preclusion because it wasn’t raised or claim preclusion because declaratory judgments only preclude what is actually decided. The Court affirmed on the merits holding the Cruise Act did not change the statewide ban on video gambling.

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