Torts, Insurance and Products Blog
Editor: Cheryl Shoun
Not too hot, not too cold: US District Court for SC Adopts Moderate Approach for Counterclaims in Response to Amended Complaints
Addressing a procedural matter of first impression, the United States District Court for South Carolina adopted the moderate approach in response to the question of whether a party requires leave of court to amend counterclaims in response to an amended complaint. Poly-Med, Inc. v. Novus Scientific PTE LTD., 2017 WL 2874715 (D.S.C. July 6, 2017).
Torts & Insurance Cases from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals - April 2017
Nexsen Pruet attorney Marc Manos, a member of the SC Bar Torts and Insurance Practice Section Council, sheds light on a few recent cases from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, focused in the area of Torts & Insurance.
Equitable Estoppel Halts Insurer’s Success In Bad Faith Claim
Demonstrating that equitable estoppel can create genuine obstacles for insurers, the court in the Middle District of North Carolina denied a carrier relief to which it would have otherwise been entitled based upon the carrier’s prior conduct.
Is Recent Legislation a Prediction of Statutory Dram Shop Liability?
There is no question; drunk drivers are a danger to everyone on the road – including themselves. Recognizing that, many states have enacted dram shop laws; laws that hold restaurants or bars that overserve patrons and then allow them to drive strictly liable for injuries to third parties. A majority of states require establishments serving alcohol to have insurance that provides coverage to third parties injured by an intoxicated patron.
When an Assault Really Is an Assault...
Jesse Bass was a guest at Henry’s Sports Bar in December 2012, when the bouncer struck him in the head with such force that he was knocked unconscious and suffered serious brain injury. Bass brought an action against Henry’s, the bouncer and the independent security firm, which employed the bouncer. The security firm resolved the claim and the bouncer failed to respond leaving the remaining claim against Henry’s.
Comparative Negligence and Crashworthiness Collide at the South Carolina Supreme Court
The South Carolina Supreme Court recently held that the comparative negligence of a plaintiff, in causing a vehicular collision, is not a defense to product liability crashworthiness claims brought under the theories of strict liability and implied warranty. Donze v. General Motors, LLC.
Waiver of Attorney-Client Privilege in Bad Faith Litigation
The United States District Court has confirmed in a recent decision that in most circumstances, the attorney-client privilege will be waived in bad faith litigation in South Carolina. In Contravest, Inc. v. Mt. Hawley Ins. Co., the district court was asked to determine whether the insurance company in a bad faith action had waived the attorney-client privilege relative to certain documents and materials sought in discovery. The district court found that it did waive the privilege.
Defamation – When the Facts Really Are the Facts
Historically, South Carolina has followed the general rule that truth is a complete defense to a claim of defamation. An insinuation, however, drawn from a truthful statement, may be an exception to that general rule, and consequently serve as the basis for a claim of defamation.
Attention Contractors: The Right to Cure Act may still be alive!
Perhaps you forgot about it, or maybe you just gave up on it; regardless, you will be happy to hear that the Right to Cure Act just may be alive.
In an Order dismissing Plaintiffs’ claims, entered in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas, former South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal, breathed new life into the Act.
UM, Wait a second! – Rekindled Exposure for Bad Faith Uninsured Motorist Claims in South Carolina
Recently, the United States District Court held a plaintiff can maintain a claim for bad faith handling of Uninsured Motorists Coverage (“UM”) in the District of South Carolina. In Tucker v. Peerless Insurance Company, the plaintiff insured sued his personal UM Carrier for bad faith refusal to pay UM benefits. The district court denied the Carrier’s motion to dismiss and allowed the bad faith UM claim proceed.
Fourth Circuit Upholds 1-year Statute of Limitations on Flood Insurance Claims
In Woodson v. Allstate Insurance Co., the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently upheld a one-year statute of limitations in flood insurance claims. Briefly, Hurricane Irene flooded the home of plaintiffs Gary and Rebecca Woodson in 2011. Allstate had issued the Woodsons a flood insurance policy under the National Flood Insurance Program.
When an Assault is not an Assault
Covered Up: SC District Court Denies Exclusion for Alleged Nightclub Assault and Battery
In a recent United States District Court decision, the court denied the insurer’s motion for summary judgment as to its duty to defend and indemnify for an alleged assault and battery. The facts of Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London v. Butler are typical and straightforward.
Is your Motor Vehicle Loan Safe? Insurance policies may not protect the credit union's lien
Today’s insurance world is a complicated scene. Insureds have more choice than ever for insurance coverage. If a federal credit union has a lien on a motor vehicle in South Carolina, you may be unprotected against the borrower’s malfeasance.
In South Carolina, the innocent insured/lienholder is not necessarily protected from intentional loss caused by another insured.
Torts & Insurance Cases from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals - March 2017
Nexsen Pruet attorney Marc Manos, a member of the SC Bar Torts and Insurance Practice Section Council, sheds light on a few recent cases from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, focused in the area of Torts & Insurance. Linked below are noted cases from March 2017.
City Slickers & Airplane Litigation: Fight or Flight
Sometimes venue challenges are successful. Sometimes the convenience of the lawyers is not the standard for judging the proper venue for a lawsuit. In Theobald v. Piper Aircraft, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s order transferring the venue of an aviation death case from Miami to the defendants’ county of residence.
BEWARE: Certain Acts of Community Management Companies Constitute the Unauthorized Practice of Law in South Carolina
In an opinion expected to affect community management companies and owners’ associations throughout the State, the South Carolina Supreme Court has provided clarification as to what it deems to constitute the unauthorized practice of law, particularly as it relates to the management of various owners’ associations.
Consideration of Force Majeure in Construction Contracts
Before entering into a construction contract, consider how force majeure events are evolving in today’s world. Have you looked at the risk of climate change causing more frequent unusual or severe weather? What about the risk of an act of terrorism?
Nexsen Pruet's Torts, Insurance and Products Law Group provides this Blog as a courtesy to business and individuals across the Carolinas. It is for informational purposes only, not legal advice. If you have questions, please contact the TIPS practice group leader, Jim Bryan.