Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Singleton v. Cuthbert

Court of Appeals of South Carolina

July 6, 2016

Jonetha Singleton, Appellant,
v.
Starshaka N. Cuthbert, Respondent. Appellate Case No. 2013-001387

          Heard April 13, 2015

         Appeal From Beaufort County J. Ernest Kinard, Jr., Circuit Court Judge

          Bernard McIntyre, of Beaufort, for Appellant.

          Elizabeth Hall Freeman, of Hall Booth Smith, PC, and Jeffrey Alan Ross, of Jeff Ross Law, LLC, both of Charleston, for Respondent.

          MCDONALD, J.:

         In this action arising from an automobile accident, Jonetha Singleton appeals, arguing the circuit court erred in directing a verdict that she was negligent as a matter of law under section 56-5-2770(A) of the South Carolina Code (2006) in turning left behind another vehicle stopped behind a stopped school bus. We reverse.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

          On October 6, 2010, Singleton was involved in an automobile accident in Beaufort County. Singleton was making a left turn into her mother's driveway when Starshaka Cuthbert's vehicle, approaching from the oncoming direction, continued past a stopped school bus and struck her. Just before Singleton made her left turn, she was stopped one car behind the stopped bus. Although the school bus's caution lights were activated, Cuthbert did not stop for the school bus and hit Singleton's car on the right side.

         Singleton filed a complaint on November 10, 2011, seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Cuthbert answered, asserting comparative negligence as a defense. During the trial on May 6, 2013, Cuthbert moved for directed verdict, asserting Singleton violated section 56-5-2770(A) by turning left behind the vehicle stopped behind the school bus. Cuthbert contended Singleton was negligent as a matter of law because Singleton's own testimony established the school bus's flashing red lights were activated, the bus was stopped, she came to a stop, and then she proceeded to make her left turn while the bus was still stopped. Singleton countered that no evidence established she was "meeting or overtaking" the bus as referenced in section 56-5-2770(A).

         The circuit court granted Cuthbert's motion for directed verdict, determining Singleton was negligent in violating section 56-5-2770(A) because she made the left turn without waiting for the school bus to deactivate its warning lights or resume moving. The issues of Cuthbert's negligence, the comparative negligence of each party, and causation were submitted to the jury.

         The jury returned a verdict for Cuthbert. Singleton moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) and a new trial. The circuit court denied both motions.

         ISSUE

         Did the circuit court err in directing a verdict that Singleton was negligent as a matter of law under section 56-5-2770(A) of the South Carolina Code by turning left behind a vehicle stopped behind a stopped school bus?

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         "In ruling on a motion for a directed verdict . . ., the trial court must view the evidence and the inferences that reasonably can be drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motions." McNaughton v. Charleston Charter Sch. for Math & Sci., Inc., 411 S.C. 249, 259, 768 S.E.2d 389, 395 (2015). The circuit court must deny the motion "when the evidence yields more than one inference or its inference is in doubt." Id. "This Court will ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.