Inman v. Ken Hyatt Chrysler Plymouth, Inc., 22817

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Citation363 S.E.2d 691,294 S.C. 240
Docket NumberNo. 22817,22817
PartiesJames C. INMAN, Respondent, v. KEN HYATT CHRYSLER PLYMOUTH, INC., Appellant. . Heard
Decision Date16 November 1987

Page 691

363 S.E.2d 691
294 S.C. 240
James C. INMAN, Respondent,
v.
KEN HYATT CHRYSLER PLYMOUTH, INC., Appellant.
No. 22817.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Heard Nov. 16, 1987.
Decided Jan. 11, 1988.

John G. Felder, C.W. Whetstone, Jr., St. Matthews, and Randall M. Chastain, Columbia, for appellant.

William R. Applegate, West Columbia, for respondent.

[294 S.C. 241] GREGORY, Justice:

Respondent Inman commenced this action against appellant Ken Hyatt Chrysler Plymouth, Inc. (Dealer) for fraud and a violation of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act, S.C.Code Ann. § 39-5-20 (1985) (UTPA). The jury returned a verdict for Inman for $2,500 actual damages plus $100,000 punitive damages for fraud 1 and $2,500 actual damages for the UTPA violation. The trial judge doubled the UTPA award and allowed $4,000 attorney's fees as permitted by § 39-5-140(a). We reverse in part and affirm in part.

Inman bought a 1986 Chrysler Fifth Avenue from Dealer for $17,365. Dealer represented the car was a "new demonstrator"

Page 692

and "had all the bugs worked out." It had 3,482 miles on it at the time of the purchase, a fact Inman acknowledged when he signed the purchase agreement. The vehicle was warranted as new.

Over the next year, Inman had trouble obtaining satisfactory service from Dealer. While battling with Dealer over repairs, Inman discovered the vehicle had been purchased by a Ms. Williams a short time before Inman himself bought the car. Ms. Williams returned the automobile eight days after signing a purchase agreement and taking possession. She had driven the vehicle 225 miles. Dealer refunded only $500 of the $3,000 Ms. Williams paid as a downpayment. The next day, Dealer sold the vehicle to Inman for $2,000 more than it had been sold to Ms. Williams. 2 Inman commenced this action upon discovering the prior sale to Ms. Williams.

At trial, the judge denied as untimely Dealer's motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. This was error. As permitted under Rule 12(h)(2), SCRCP, a defense of "failure to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted" may be raised at the trial on the merits. Under our [294 S.C. 242] state pleading rules, Rule 8, SCRCP, facts must be pleaded to state a cause of action. Failure to state sufficient facts and failure to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted constitute the same defense under our state law. A defense of failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action under Rule 12(b)(6), SCRCP, is therefore properly raised at the trial on the merits pursuant to Rule 12(h)(2), SCRCP. The trial judge erred in refusing to consider this motion.

The motion to dismiss the fraud cause of action should have...

To continue reading

Request your trial
10 cases
  • Wright v. Craft, 4181.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • November 27, 2006
    ...had "all the bugs worked out," when it had, in fact, been sold and returned by the previous owner. Inman v. Ken Hyatt Chrysler Plymouth, Inc., 294 S.C. 240, 242, 363 S.E.2d 691, 692 (1988). Accordingly, in Dowd v. Imperial Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc., this court held a salesman's representation......
  • Daisy Outdoor Advertising Co., Inc. v. Abbott, 2224
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 11, 1994
    ...207, 414 S.E.2d 164 (1992); Ward v. Dick Dyer & Associates, Inc., 304 S.C. 152, 403 S.E.2d 310 (1991); Inman v. Ken Hyatt Chrysler Plymouth, Inc., 294 S.C. 240, 363 S.E.2d 691 (1988); Baker v. Chavis, 306 S.C. 203, 410 S.E.2d 600 (Ct.App.1991); Potomac Leasing Co. v. Bone, 294 S.C. 494, 366......
  • Warner v. Lexington Med. Ctr., C/A No. 3:17-1936-JFA-PJG
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • June 12, 2018
    ...Ardis v. Cox, 314 S.C. 512, 515, 431 S.E.2d 267, 269 (Ct. App. 1993) (emphasis added) (citing Inman v. Ken Hyatt Chrysler Plymouth, Inc., 294 S.C. 240, 242, 363 S.E.2d 691, 692 (1988)). To establish constructive fraud, a plaintiff must establish all of the above nine elements of fraud excep......
  • Brooks v. Velocity Powersports, LLC
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • November 10, 2021
    ...... Corporation and American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Defendants, Of which Velocity Powersports, LLC ...App. 1988); Dowd v. Imperial. Chrysler-Plymouth, 298 S.C. 439, 381 S.E.2d 212 (Ct. App. 1989); Inman v. Ken Hyatt Chrysler Plymouth,. 294 S.C. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • South Carolina. Practice Text
    • United States
    • ABA Antitrust Library State Antitrust Practice and Statutes (FIFTH). Volume III
    • December 9, 2014
    ...6. Bostick Oil Co. v. Michelin Tire Corp., Commercial Div., 702 F.2d 1207, 1219 (4th Cir. 1983). 7. Inman v. Ken Hyatt Chrysler Plymouth, 363 S.E.2d 691, 693 (S.C. 1988). 8. Connolly v. People’s Life Ins. Co., 364 S.E.2d 475, 477 (S.C. Ct. App. 1988), rev’d on other grounds , 384 S.E.2d 738......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT