Pocisk v. Sea Coast Const. of Beaufort, No. 4460.

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtHuff
Citation671 S.E.2d 98,380 S.C. 584
Docket NumberNo. 4460.
Decision Date20 November 2008
PartiesGeorge B. and Ann M. POCISK, Respondents, v. SEA COAST CONSTRUCTION OF BEAUFORT and Johnny A. Payne, d/b/a Sea Coast Construction, Appellants. and Carolina Shores Constructions Co., Inc., Third-Party Plaintiff, v. Sea Coast Construction of Beaufort and Johnny A. Payne, d/b/a Sea Coast Construction, Third Party Defendants.
671 S.E.2d 98
380 S.C. 584
George B. and Ann M. POCISK, Respondents,
v.
SEA COAST CONSTRUCTION OF BEAUFORT and Johnny A. Payne, d/b/a Sea Coast Construction, Appellants. and
Carolina Shores Constructions Co., Inc., Third-Party Plaintiff,
v.
Sea Coast Construction of Beaufort and Johnny A. Payne, d/b/a Sea Coast Construction, Third Party Defendants.
No. 4460.
Court of Appeals of South Carolina.
Heard October 7, 2008.
Decided November 20, 2008.
Rehearing Denied January 27, 2009.

[671 S.E.2d 99]

Robert T. Lyles, Jr., of Charleston, for Appellants.

Drew A. Laughlin, of Hilton Head Island, and Edwin Russell Jeter, Jr., of Columbia, for Respondents.

HUFF, J.:


Johnny Payne, d/b/a Sea Coast Construction, (Payne) appeals the trial court's order granting relief from judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b), SCRCP, to George B. Pocisk and Ann M. Pocisk. We find the order is not immediately appealable and dismiss the appeal.

FACTS

The Pocisks brought an action against Payne and others alleging their house had been defectively constructed. Although Payne's insurer, St. Paul Travelers, denied coverage for the claim, it provided Payne with a defense, pursuant to a full reservation of rights. After the other defendants settled with the Pocisks, Payne and the Pocisks entered into a settlement agreement in which Payne confessed judgment in the amount of $250,000 and the Pocisks agreed not to seek satisfaction of the judgment from Payne. Payne assigned to the Pocisks his rights in any claim involving insurance coverage and bad faith issues arising out the St. Paul Travelers insurance policy. A judgment was entered against Payne in the Beaufort County Court of Common Pleas in the amount of $250,000. The judgment does not mention

671 S.E.2d 100

the condition that the Pocisks would not seek satisfaction against Payne.

After the parties entered into the settlement agreement, St. Paul Travelers brought a declaratory judgment action in the United States District Court seeking a declaration that it was not obligated to defend or indemnify Payne for the Pocisks' claim. The district court allowed the Pocisks to intervene. Their attorney also represented Payne in the declaratory judgment action. Relying on opinions from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals,1 the district court held the settlement agreement was presumptively unreasonable and therefore invalid. St. Paul Travelers v. Payne, 444 F.Supp.2d 519, 522 (D.S.C.2006). The court concluded that because the settlement agreement was invalid, St. Paul Travelers was not obligated to indemnify Payne for the $250,000 confession of judgment. Id. In its order on the Pocisks and Payne's motion to alter or amend, the court clarified that if the judgment entered on the underlying suit was vacated, it would then have jurisdiction to consider the issue of whether St. Paul Travelers' denial of the claim was appropriate.

The Pocisks then filed a motion in the Beaufort County Court of Common Pleas to vacate the $250,000 consent judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b), SCRCP, and restore the action to the trial roster. The court initially denied the Pocisks the relief requested. The Pocisks filed a motion to alter or amend asserting the court's ruling violated the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel. Payne did not file a return to this motion. The trial court granted the motion to alter or amend, finding the district court decision was binding on all parties to this action. It vacated the consent judgment and restored the case to the trial docket. Payne filed a motion to reconsider, which the trial court denied. This appeal followed.

LAW/ANALYIS

The Pocisks assert the order granting Rule 60(b) relief is not immediately appealable. We agree.

The determination of whether a party may immediately appeal an order issued before or during trial is...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 practice notes
  • McClurg v. Deaton, No. 4458.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 20 Noviembre 2008
    ...of dealings between the carrier and the plaintiff — appear to present a novel situation in South Carolina,2 the Indiana Court of Appeals 671 S.E.2d 98 addressed a similar situation in McGee v. Reynolds, 618 N.E.2d 40 (Ind.Ct.App. 1993). There, two parties were involved in an automobile acci......
1 cases
  • McClurg v. Deaton, No. 4458.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 20 Noviembre 2008
    ...of dealings between the carrier and the plaintiff — appear to present a novel situation in South Carolina,2 the Indiana Court of Appeals 671 S.E.2d 98 addressed a similar situation in McGee v. Reynolds, 618 N.E.2d 40 (Ind.Ct.App. 1993). There, two parties were involved in an automobile acci......

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