Opinion from the South Carolina Court of Appeals

Court of AppealsOn August 2, 2017, the Court published four opinions:

In John Doe 2 v. The Citadel, i n this appeal arising from a civil matter, the S.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment to Respondent.

The Court found that, as it relates to any failure to respond after the April 2007 allegations, Respondent’s purported failure to intervene did not create a risk of harm to Appellant when Appellant was already exposed to ReVille’s abuse. The Court also found that Appellant failed to prove Respondent owed him a statutorily-created duty. Appellant was never a student nor a participant in any educational program at The Citadel; therefore, he is not a member of the class of persons Title IX intends to protect. In addition, the Court upheld the circuit court’s finding on Appellant’s outrage claim because Appellant did not present any evidence that Respondent directed any tortious conduct specifically toward him.

In Ashburn v. Rogers, in this appeal arising from a family court order denying Appellant relief from a previous order of paternity that found him to be the father of minor child E.A., the court reversed the order of the family court. The Court found that relief from the previous order establishing paternity is warranted because the policies that support upholding paternity based on finality are not implicated in the present case.

In State v. Brown, in this appeal arising from a criminal case in which the circuit court found the statement of the victim inadmissible as a dying declaration exception to hearsay, the court affirmed the circuit court’s decision. The court found the record contains evidence to support the circuit court’s finding that Goodwin’s statement to Detective Fleming was inadmissible hearsay because it did not meet the dying declaration exception. Neither the medical records nor the other evidence in the case demonstrates that the victim was aware of his imminent death when he made the identifying statement.

In The Oaks at Rivers Edge v. Daniel Island Riverside, In this appeal arising from a case regarding defective construction, the court affirmed the trial court’s award of damages to Respondents. The court affirmed the trial court’s denial of Appellants’ motion for setoff of the amounts received by Respondents in prior settlements. The court agreed with Respondents that Appellants already received the benefit of the settlements. In addition, the court held that the trial court did not err in awarding Respondents damages for both loss of access to the market and the cost of repairs. Respondents suffered two separate injuries with two different sets of damages; therefore, the award did not constitute a double recovery as argued by Appellants.

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