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Greens of Rock Hill, LLC v. Rizon Commer. Contr., Inc.

Court of Appeals of South Carolina

December 3, 2014

The Greens of Rock Hill, LLC and GRH 2011, LLC, Respondents,
v.
Rizon Commercial Contracting, Inc. and Road Machinery and Supplies Co., Defendants, of whom Rizon Commercial Contracting, Inc. is the Appellant

Heard September 10, 2014

Appeal From York County. Appellate Case No. 2012-213563. S. Jackson Kimball, III, Special Circuit Court Judge.

Daniel Dominic D'Agostino, D'Agostino Law Firm, of York, for Appellant.

Herbert W. Hamilton and Walter Keith Martens, Hamilton Martens Ballou & Carroll, LLC, of Rock Hill; and Tracy Thompson Vann, Nexsen Pruet, LLC, of Charlotte, NC, all for Respondents.

FEW, C.J. LOCKEMY, J., concurs. THOMAS, J., dissenting.

OPINION

Page 877

[411 S.C. 154] FEW, C.J.:

Rizon Commercial Contracting, Inc. appeals the circuit court's order vacating its mechanic's liens and dismissing its counterclaim for foreclosure. We find the circuit court erred in determining as a matter of law tat Rizon was not a " laborer" that performed work " for the improvement of real estate" under subsection 29-5-20(A) of the South Carolina Code (2007). We reverse and remand for foreclosure proceedings.

I. Facts and Procedural History

In 2010, the Greens of Rock Hill, LLC and GRH 2011, LLC (collectively the " owners" ) initiated the " Riverwalk development project," which involved developing several pieces of property on the Catawba River in Rock Hill into a large, mixed-use community. The owners hired Celriver Services, LLC to serve as the general contractor for portions of the development project, which included demolishing an abandoned manufacturing facility

Page 878

on the property, grading the land, and installing roads and infrastructure.

Following the demolition of the manufacturing facility, large pieces of " scrap concrete" remained on the property. Celriver [411 S.C. 155] hired Rizon to crush this concrete into usable material. Specifically, the contract[1] between the parties provided,

The Work to be performed by the Subcontractor [Rizon] includes mobilization of all labor, equipment, materials and other items required to crush and screen 30,000 tons of concrete stockpiled [on the property]. The concrete material is to be crushed and screened, as required, to meet the South Carolina ...

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