Bellamy v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 20541

Decision Date16 November 1977
Docket NumberNo. 20541,20541
Citation269 S.C. 578,239 S.E.2d 73
CourtSouth Carolina Supreme Court
PartiesIra T. BELLAMY, Jr., Respondent, v. GENERAL MOTORS ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION and Alfred Anderson, Appellants.

McCaskill & Horton, Conway, for appellants.

Robert N. Richardson, Jr., and J. Reuben Long, Conway, for respondent.

GREGORY, Justice:

This appeal is from a verdict and award of damages in favor of respondent for emotional distress and resulting physical illness. At issue is the lower court's refusal to grant appellants' motions for directed verdict, involuntary non-suit, and judgment non obstante veredicto. We affirm.

In considering whether the lower court was correct in denying appellants' motions we must review all the evidence and all inferences reasonably deducible therefrom in the light most favorable to respondent. Mahaffey v. Ahl, 264 S.C. 241, 214 S.E.2d 119 (1975). Our task is to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to warrant the submission of the case to the jury.

The events that gave rise to this action took place in respondent's home on September 4, 1974. Immediately prior to this time respondent suffered a severe heart ailment and was hospitalized from August 19, 1974 to August 27, 1974. On the morning of September 4 he was at home recuperating from his illness and had been visited by friends. As respondent's company began to leave, appellant Anderson entered the house and introduced himself as a representative of GMAC. Mr. Anderson stated that his purpose was to collect one outstanding car payment owed by Mr. Bellamy to GMAC. The validity of this debt is disputed but is not an issue on appeal.

Mr. Bellamy testified that he began to feel distressed immediately after Mr. Anderson's initial demand for payment, but he nevertheless asked Mr. Anderson to sit down so the matter could be straightened out. Mr. Bellamy felt progressively worse and informed Mr. Anderson of his heart condition and his need to avoid stressful situations. After approximately five minutes Mr. Bellamy asked Mr. Anderson to leave the house and come back later. By this time Mr. Bellamy was visibly distressed and had taken medication for the pain. Mr. Anderson ignored this and one other request by Mr. Bellamy to leave, and continued to demand the disputed payment. Mrs. Bellamy then intervened and told Mr. Anderson, "You have got to go because he can't take anymore." Mr. Anderson argued briefly with Mrs. Bellamy and then left. The entire encounter lasted from fifteen to twenty minutes.

Mr. Bellamy's condition worsened after Mr. Anderson left and he was carried to the hospital that night. His personal physician admitted him to the intensive care unit of the hospital where he remained for several days.

Appellants argue that Mr. Anderson's conduct, described by respondent as loud and abusive, was within the bounds of conduct reasonably acceptable in a creditor-debtor relationship and thus was insufficient as a matter of law to make app...

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12 cases
  • Phillips v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Carolina
    • 21 juin 1983
    ...in Ford v. Hutson, see, e.g., Hudson v. Zenith Engraving Co., Inc., 273 S.C. 766, 259 S.E.2d 812 (1979); Bellamy v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 269 S.C. 578, 239 S.E.2d 73 (1977); Rhodes v. Security Finance Corp. of Landrum, 268 S.C. 300, 233 S.E.2d 105 (1977); Turner v. ABC Jalousie C......
  • Robertsen v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Carolina
    • 12 février 1979
    ...S.E.2d 265 (1958); Folk v. Seaboard Air Line Railway, 99 S.C. 284, 83 S.E. 452 (1914). In the recent case of Bellamy v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., S.C., 239 S.E.2d 73 (1977), the South Carolina Supreme Court held that a debt collector, whose conduct was "clearly unreasonable and abusi......
  • Powers Const. Co., Inc. v. Salem Carpets, Inc.
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • 8 octobre 1984
    ...evidence and all inferences reasonably deducible therefrom in the light most favorable to Powers, the nonmoving party. Bellamy v. GMAC, 269 S.C. 578, 239 S.E.2d 73 (1977). When the evidence is so viewed, we can only conclude that the trial court properly denied Salem's motion for involuntar......
  • Green v. Lilliewood
    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • 11 décembre 1978
    ...the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom must be viewed in the light most favorable to Ms. Green. Bellamy v. G.M.A.C., 269 S.C. 578, 239 S.E.2d 73 (1977). Taken in this posture, we believe the evidence was sufficient to warrant submission of the case to the According to Ms. Gree......
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