On Wednesday, January 6, the South Carolina Court of Appeals published Repko v. County Georgetown.
In this negligence action, Repko appealed the trial court’s granting of a directed verdict in favor of Georgetown County (“the County”). Repko argues the trial court erred in: (1) construing Article V, Section 3-1 of the County Development Regulations (the Regulations) to preclude a “tort-like” duty when the plain language of that provision disclaims only a “financial-like”obligation ; (2) relying on the Regulations’ “sovereign immunity” provision when that provision is unenforceable because it is preempted by the South Carolina Tort Claims Act (TCA); (3) finding the Regulations did not create a special duty owed to him under the “special duty test”; (4) finding subsections 15-78-60(4), (5), and (13) of the TCA provided the County with immunity to his negligence claim; and (5) not recusing itself based upon prior business relationships concerning the transactions involved.
On the first issue, the Court found the trial court erred in relying on Brady to find the County did not owe a special duty to Repko, interpreting the term “obligation” in Article V, Section 3-1,does not obviate the need for language like that found in the ordinance preamble in Brady.
On the fourth issue, the Court remanded issue to the trial court with instructions to reexamine the applicability of subsections (4), (5), and (13) under a gross negligence standard.
The Court found the final issue unpreserved for review because it was raised for the first time at the hearing on the motion to reconsider.
Accordingly, the Court reversed and remanded the trial court’s decision.