Moran v. Jones, No. 0140

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtSANDERS
Citation281 S.C. 270,315 S.E.2d 136
PartiesGeorge S. MORAN, Respondent, v. Marion Deveaux JONES, Jr., Appellant. . Heard
Docket NumberNo. 0140
Decision Date20 February 1984

Page 136

315 S.E.2d 136
281 S.C. 270
George S. MORAN, Respondent,
v.
Marion Deveaux JONES, Jr., Appellant.
No. 0140.
Court of Appeals of South Carolina.
Heard Feb. 20, 1984.
Deciced April 2, 1984.

Page 137

[281 S.C. 271] T. Reeve Sams, Beaufort, for appellant.

James H. Moss, Beaufort, for respondent.

SANDERS, Chief Judge.

Respondent George S. Moran was struck by a car being driven by appellant Marion Deveaux Jones as he was attempting to cross U.S. Highway 21 at its intersection with Land's End Road in the community of Frogmore. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Moran for actual damages. We affirm.

I

In considering this appeal, our jurisdiction extends only to the correction of errors of law. Factual findings of the jury cannot be disturbed unless there is no evidence which reasonably supports them. Townes Associates, Ltd. v. City of Greenville, 266 S.C. 81, 221 S.E.2d 773 (1976). Reversal of the jury's verdict can only result when the sole reasonable inference which can be drawn from the evidence is contrary to the factual findings implicit in its verdict. Bell v. Harrington Manufacturing Company, 265 S.C. 468, 219 S.E.2d 906 (1975); Willis v. Floyd Brace Co., Inc., 309 S.E.2d 295 (S.C.App.1983).

The first three questions which Jones raises on appeal are (1) whether there was any evidence of his negligence, (2) whether Moran was guilty of contributory negligence as a matter of law and (3) whether it was error for the trial judge to charge section 56-5-3130(a) of the Code of Laws of South Carolina (Supp.1983).

Code section 56-5-3130(a) provides:

[281 S.C. 272] When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to yield to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

It is undisputed that there were no traffic control signals at this intersection.

Therefore, our first task here is simply to determine from the record whether there is any evidence from which it can be inferred that Moran was within a "crosswalk" when he was struck. Obviously, if such evidence appears in the record, the trial judge was correct in charging this Code section. It is equally obvious that the existence of such evidence would also constitute evidence of Jones' negligence in failing to yield the right-of-way to Moran. Furthermore, the existence of such evidence would negate the contention of Jones that Moran was guilty of contributory negligence in failing to yield the right-of-way to him. 1 Code section 56-5-500(1) defines a "crosswalk" as:

That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway measured from the curbs or in the absence of curbs from the edges of the traversable roadway ....

Code section 56-5-480 defines the term "sidewalk" as "that portion of a street between the curb lines, or the lateral lines, of a roadway and the adjacent property lines, intended for the use of pedestrians." Thus, according to the definitions provided

Page 138

by these Code sections, the "crosswalk" at this intersection[281 S.C. 273] across Highway 21 is an extension of the "sidewalk" area on the side of Land's End Road. Although not drawn to scale, plaintiff's Exhibit # 24 indicates the general location of this "crosswalk" across Highway 21 from the southwest corner of its intersection with Land's End Road. A copy of this exhibit is attached here. (Land Ends Road is indicated on this diagram as "S-45.")

Jones testified he was proceeding east on Highway 21 approaching its intersection with Land's End Road when he saw one C.J. Johnson standing in the median which separated the east and west bound lanes of the highway. Jones testified he saw Johnson when his car was "10 to 12 feet" from the end of the median and Johnson was "10 to 15 feet" in front of his car, "2 to 5 feet" to the left of its path of travel. This testimony would place Johnson in the median, within 2 feet of its end and not more than 5 feet from its edge. Jones testified further that his car struck Moran before reaching the point opposite where Johnson was standing and Moran was "3 or 4 feet" from Johnson, directly in front of the car when it struck him. In our opinion, it may be inferred from this testimony that Moran was within the "crosswalk" as defined by Code sections 56-5-500(1) and 56-5-480 and indicated by plaintiff's Exhibit # 24.

It is true, as pointed out by Jones, that the testimony of other witnesses, including Moran himself, tends to show that Moran was outside this "crosswalk" when struck. However, judging the credibility of testimony and determining the weight it is to be given are functions of the jury, not this Court. Tisdale v. Kerr McGee Chemical Corporation, 266 S.C. 64, 221...

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16 practice notes
  • Fields v. REGIONAL MED. CENTER ORANGEBURG, No. 3623.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • April 14, 2003
    ...case, willfulness, and the degree of prejudice. Samples v. Mitchell, 329 S.C. 105, 112, 495 S.E.2d 213, 216 (Ct.App.1997); Moran v. Jones, 281 S.C. 270, 276, 315 S.E.2d 136, 139 (Ct.App.1984). A circuit court's failure to exercise discretion is itself an abuse of discretion. In re Robert M.......
  • Samples v. Mitchell, No. 2747
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 19, 1997
    ...the discovery posture of the case, willfulness, and the degree of prejudice. Laney, 262 S.C. at 60, 202 S.E.2d at 15; Moran v. Jones, 281 S.C. 270, 276, 315 S.E.2d 136, 139-40 (Ct.App.1984). Although the trial judge in this case correctly framed the issue as discovery abuse, he did not weig......
  • Karppi v. Greenville Terrazzo Co., Inc., No. 2695
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 3, 1997
    ...of a witness is a sanction which should never be lightly invoked." Id. at 46 n. 4, 362 S.E.2d at 319 n. 4 (quoting Moran v. Jones, 281 S.C. 270, 276, 315 S.E.2d 136, 139 In Hathcock v. Navistar Int'l Transp. Corp., 53 F.3d 36 (4th Cir.1995), the Fourth Circuit reversed the district court's ......
  • Hall v. Palmetto Enterprises II, Inc., of Clinton, No. 0189
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 2, 1984
    ...support the factual findings implicit in the verdict. Bell v. Harrington Mfg. Co., 265 S.C. 468, 219 S.E.2d 906 (1975); Moran v. Jones, 315 S.E.2d 136 (S.C.App.1984). Here the verdict must be sustained because ample evidence in the record supports the finding that Palmetto was negligent and......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • Fields v. REGIONAL MED. CENTER ORANGEBURG, No. 3623.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • April 14, 2003
    ...case, willfulness, and the degree of prejudice. Samples v. Mitchell, 329 S.C. 105, 112, 495 S.E.2d 213, 216 (Ct.App.1997); Moran v. Jones, 281 S.C. 270, 276, 315 S.E.2d 136, 139 (Ct.App.1984). A circuit court's failure to exercise discretion is itself an abuse of discretion. In re Robert M.......
  • Samples v. Mitchell, No. 2747
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 19, 1997
    ...the discovery posture of the case, willfulness, and the degree of prejudice. Laney, 262 S.C. at 60, 202 S.E.2d at 15; Moran v. Jones, 281 S.C. 270, 276, 315 S.E.2d 136, 139-40 (Ct.App.1984). Although the trial judge in this case correctly framed the issue as discovery abuse, he did not weig......
  • Karppi v. Greenville Terrazzo Co., Inc., No. 2695
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 3, 1997
    ...of a witness is a sanction which should never be lightly invoked." Id. at 46 n. 4, 362 S.E.2d at 319 n. 4 (quoting Moran v. Jones, 281 S.C. 270, 276, 315 S.E.2d 136, 139 In Hathcock v. Navistar Int'l Transp. Corp., 53 F.3d 36 (4th Cir.1995), the Fourth Circuit reversed the district court's ......
  • Hall v. Palmetto Enterprises II, Inc., of Clinton, No. 0189
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 2, 1984
    ...support the factual findings implicit in the verdict. Bell v. Harrington Mfg. Co., 265 S.C. 468, 219 S.E.2d 906 (1975); Moran v. Jones, 315 S.E.2d 136 (S.C.App.1984). Here the verdict must be sustained because ample evidence in the record supports the finding that Palmetto was negligent and......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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