Southeastern Mobile Homes, Inc. v. Walicki, 0209

Decision Date17 April 1984
Docket NumberNo. 0209,0209
Citation282 S.C. 298,317 S.E.2d 773
CourtSouth Carolina Court of Appeals
PartiesSOUTHEASTERN MOBILE HOMES, INC., Appellant, v. Clair WALICKI, a/k/a Clara M. Walicki, Respondent. . Heard

Joseph G. Wright, III, of Wright & Trammel, Anderson, for appellant.

William Robinson, Easley, for respondent.


Southeastern Mobile Homes, Inc. appeals a jury verdict of $5,000.00 rendered against it in this action involving its refusal to return a down payment on a mobile home. We modify the judgment and affirm.

Southeastern, a mobile home dealer, sued Walicki for damages of $1,544.00 resulting from Walicki's alleged breach of a contract to purchase a mobile home from Southeastern. Walicki counterclaimed, asserting two causes of action. Walicki's first cause of action sought the recovery of a down payment of $4,000.00 alleging "fraudulent and wilfull withholding by [Southeastern] of the down payment." 1 The second cause of action, which sought damages for alleged violations of state and federal consumer credit laws, was struck by the trial judge. Walicki has not appealed this ruling. Walicki also sought punitive damages but the claim was also struck by the trial judge without objection from Walicki.

The parties stipulated in the Transcript of Record, inter alia:

1. The Appellant and Respondent entered into a contract dated 20 August 1980 which provided for the sale and purchase of a double-wide mobile home for $21,757.84, of which amount $4,000.00 was paid as a down payment in cash.

2. Approximately two to three weeks after the contract was executed, the Respondent requested that the balance of the purchase price, $17,757.84, be financed by the Appellant which the Appellant refused to finance.

3. The Respondent refused to pay the balance in cash and demanded the return of the $4,000.00 down payment which the Appellant refused to return.

4. The Appellant filed this cause of action against the Respondent seeking damages of $5,544.00, less credit for the $4,000.00 downpayment, for a net amount of $1,544.00.


6. The Appellant sold the trailer in November, 1980, at a profit and (sic) more than the contract price with the Respondent.

7. The Appellant took a credit application from the Respondent but never attempted to secure or aid the Respondent in financing the trailer.

Southeastern's agent who handled the transaction with Walicki, testified to the following facts: The sale to Walicki was a cash sale. Walicki indicated to him that she needed to go home to New York and get the balance of the purchase price. She agreed that if she did not pay that balance within sixty days that she would pay him $320.00 per month until the deal was closed. About two to three weeks later, Walicki called him from New York and advised him that she could not obtain the balance of the purchase price and requested financing. He told her he would see what he could do and, upon discussing financing with the president of Southeastern, he advised her that the company could not participate in financing the sale because of the additional expenses that would accrue to Southeastern.

On the other hand, Walicki testified that the purchase of the mobile home was conditioned upon the sale of her New York residence. It was understood that if she could not sell her house in New York, she would have to obtain financing, which Southeastern agreed to assist her in finding. When she was unable to obtain the balance of the purchase price, Southeastern refused to assist her in finding financing, claiming she was "too old."

The trial judge charged the jury that if Walicki was entitled to recover, "[T]hen I charge you that she would be entitled to recover [only] the $4,000.00 down payment which she made." Walicki did not object to the charge, nor has she alleged on appeal that the charges were erroneous. The jury returned a general verdict of $5,000.00.

Southeastern made the usual motions for a directed verdict, a judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, alternatively, a new trial. All motions were denied. Southeastern appeals the denial of its motions. Southeastern claims through its exceptions that the trial court erred in denying its motions because (1) the evidence is susceptible only of the inference that Walicki breached the contract, and (2) the verdict was contrary to the law and jury instructions.

In its first exception, Southeastern argues that the trial judge should have granted its motions for a directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict because the evidence will not sustain a verdict for Walicki and in fact would sustain a verdict for Southeastern. We disagree.

On appeal from the denial of a motion for a directed verdict or judgment notwithstanding the verdict based on the sufficiency of the evidence, the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Ray v. Simon, 245 S.C. 346, 140 S.E.2d 575 (1965). Our task in reviewing the denial of such motions is to ascertain whether there was sufficient evidence to submit the case to the jury. Bellamy v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 269 S.C. 578, 239 S.E.2d 73 (1977). Here, we find sufficient evidence to submit the case to the jury. The serious conflict in the testimony relative to the nature of the sale, and the contingent obligations of the...

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5 cases
  • Henson v. International Paper Co., 3745.
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • February 17, 2004 preserve any issue relating to the verdict form). 4. See Johnson, 317 S.C. 415, 453 S.E.2d 908; Southeastern Mobile Homes, Inc., v. Walicki, 282 S.C. 298, 317 S.E.2d 773 (Ct.App.1984). 5. See Nelson v. Concrete Supply Co., 303 S.C. 243, 245, 399 S.E.2d 783, 784 (1991) (adopting the doctr......
  • Gasque v. Voyager Life Ins. Co. of South Carolina
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • March 27, 1986
    ...of action, thereby disallowing damages for period between commencement of action and date of trial); Southeastern Mobile Homes, Inc. v. Walicki, 282 S.C. 298, 317 S.E.2d 773 (Ct.App.1984) (where Court of Appeals held it could modify judgment if the damages improperly allowed can be 8. Voyag......
  • Folkens v. Hunt
    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • January 8, 1990
    ...S.C. 253, 217 S.E.2d 778 (1975), and where the verdict is contrary to law and instructions, citing Southeastern Mobile Homes, Inc. v. Walicki, 282 S.C. 298, 317 S.E.2d 773 (Ct.App.1984). Folkens brought this appeal challenging the trial court's decision to grant a new trial. Permission was ......
  • Wiggins v. Todd, 1239
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • September 19, 1988
    ...court's order. This court may modify a judgment where damages improperly allowed may be segregated. Southeastern Mobile Homes, Inc. v. Walicki, 282 S.C. 298, 317 S.E.2d 773 (Ct.App.1984). The judgment is affirmed as modified and remanded with instructions to enter judgment in accordance wit......
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