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Huck v. Oakland Wings, LLC

Court of Appeals of South Carolina

July 19, 2017

William Huck and Dianne Huck, Respondents,
v.
Oakland Wings, LLC d/b/a Wild Wing Café, Civil Site Environmental, Inc., Oakland Properties, LLC, Chandler Construction Services, Inc., Avtex Commercial Properties, Inc., Defendants, Of Whom Avtex Commercial Properties, Inc. is the Appellant. Appellate Case No. 2015-002025

          Heard May 2, 2017.

         Appeal From Charleston County Brian M. Gibbons, Circuit Court Judge

          Kenneth Michael Barfield and Diane Summers Clarke, II, both of Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms, LLC, of Charleston, for Appellant.

          Edward K. Pritchard, III, and Elizabeth Fraysure Fulton, both of Pritchard Law Group, LLC, of Charleston, for Respondents.

          LEE, A.J.

         In this appeal arising from a premises liability lawsuit, Avtex Commercial Properties, Inc. (Avtex) argues the trial court erred in denying its motion to disclose settlement and motion for setoff. We reverse and remand.

         FACTS

         William Huck slipped and fell while walking into Wild Wing Café in Mount Pleasant. Huck and his wife, Dianne Huck, filed a complaint against Wild Wing Café and Avtex, as the building's owner, among other parties. Huck alleged he suffered bodily injury, causing him to have surgery and incur medical costs. Huck asserted causes of action for negligence and loss of consortium. Dianne also asserted a cause of action for loss of consortium. Prior to trial, a settlement was entered into with defendants Civil Site Environmental, Inc. and Chandler Construction Services, Inc. The terms of the settlement, including the amounts, were not disclosed to the trial court. At the close of the Hucks' case, the court granted the remaining defendants' motions for directed verdict on Dianne's loss of consortium claim.

         The jury returned a verdict in favor of Huck against Avtex only in the amount of $97, 640, but the jury found Huck was fifty percent negligent in bringing about his own injuries. Accordingly, the court reduced the verdict by fifty percent to $48, 820 and entered judgment against Avtex in that amount. Avtex filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict pursuant to Rule 50(b), SCRCP. It also filed a motion for disclosure of settlement and setoff, or in the alternative, to determine if the settlement was made in good faith. The trial court denied both motions. Avtex made a motion to alter or amend judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e), SCRCP, which the trial court denied. This appeal followed.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         "In an action at law, on appeal of a case tried by a jury, the jurisdiction of this Court extends merely to the correction of errors of law." Townes Assocs., Ltd. v. City of Greenville, 266 S.C. 81, 85, 221 S.E.2d 773, 775 (1976). "[A] factual finding of the jury will not be disturbed unless a review of the record discloses that there is no evidence which reasonably supports the jury's findings." Id.

         LAW/ANALYSIS

         I. Motion to ...


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