September 10, 2014 South Carolina Court of Appeals published opinions

56 Leinbach Investors, LLC v Magnolia Paradigm, Inc.

56 leased property to magnolia for use as a parking lot. 56 later leased part of the same property for the erection of cell tower. Magnolia reduced the rent it paid by the amount received by 56 for the cell tower lease. 56 sued Magnolia for breach and Magnolia countersued. The master in equity ruled 56 breached the lease, that there was mutual mistake as to whether the wooded area used for the tower was included in the lease and thus Magnolia was entitled to a rent reduction. The panel affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. It held the lease unambiguously stated the whole lot including the wooded area was included in the lease. The panel held that 56 breached the lease by doing the tower lease. It held there was no mutual mistake at the time of the signing of the lese as to what was being leased though there appears to have been a unilateral mistake years alter by 56 as to which adjoining properties the tower site was on. Thus, there was no basis to reform the lease to reduce rent. The panel held there was no evidence in the record to support any damage award greater than nominal damages to Magnolia given the lack of any plans to develop the wooded area for more parking spaces. The panel finally rejected Magnolia’s unjust enrichment claim holding there was binding contract here and in any event 56 undertook the tower lease for the befit of 56 not Magnolia. The case as remanded for calculation of damages.

Stogsdill v South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Stogsdill challenged the reduction in services ordered by Department pursuant to a new Medicaid waiver agreement with the federal government. The administrative law judge affirmed the reduction. The panel affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part. It held that he state was not required to memorialize the terms of the waiver agreement in state regulations the agreement itself is binding law that controls even when state regulations are opposed to the terms. The panel affirmed on a due process argument noting Department inexcusably failed to provide adequate notice, but, because Stogsdill participated in the review process, there no prejudice. It reversed on the issue of risk of institutionalization holding there was evidence to support Stogsdill’s claim that, due to his significant physical disabilities, he would have to be institutionalized to receive the needed level of care and this stated a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Finally, the panel held that Department’s budget defense for the reductions of services failed as a matter of law and as there was no other defense presented Stogsdill prevails on this issue. The case was remanded for determination of the proper level of services to be provided Stogsdill.


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