South Carolina Court of Appeals’ Opinions

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Last week, the South Carolina Court of Appeals published two opinions:  Stoneledge at Lake Keowee v. Clear View Construct and Stoneledge at Lake Keowee v. Builders Source.

In the first Stoneledge case, Marick Home Builders, LLC served as a contractor for the construction of townhomes known as Stoneledge at Lake Keowee. The owners’ association brought suit against Marick and others alleging construction defects. The circuit court granted summary judgment against Marick on its cross-claim for negligence, finding “Marick’s negligence claim is a claim for equitable indemnity.” The circuit court also found Marick’s fault required summary judgment on its equitable indemnity claim. The Court of appeals affirmed the court’s ruling that Marick did not have a separate claim for negligence. The Court also found, however, that Marick presented a question of fact on the equitable indemnity claim. The Court reversed summary judgment and remanded for trial on that issue.

Stoneledge v. Builders FirstSource was also a construction defect case where the Court affirmed the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment against Marick on its cross-claims for breach of contract and breach of warranty, finding these claims were “merely disguised . . . claims for equitable indemnity and are not viable as alternative causes of action.”

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