Steele v. Rogers, No. 1749

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtBELL
Citation306 S.C. 546,413 S.E.2d 329
PartiesMark Stephen STEELE, Appellant, v. Michael ROGERS, David Jackson, and Smith-Rogers Oil Company, Inc., of whom Smith-Rogers Oil Company, Inc., is Respondent. . Heard
Decision Date11 November 1991
Docket NumberNo. 1749

Page 329

413 S.E.2d 329
306 S.C. 546
Mark Stephen STEELE, Appellant,
v.
Michael ROGERS, David Jackson, and Smith-Rogers Oil Company, Inc.,
of whom Smith-Rogers Oil Company, Inc., is Respondent.
No. 1749.
Court of Appeals of South Carolina.
Heard Nov. 11, 1991.
Decided Jan. 6, 1992.
Rehearing Denied Feb. 5, 1992.
Certiorari Denied April 22, 1992.

Page 330

[306 S.C. 547] Haigh Porter, Gena Phillips Ervin and D.M. McEachin, Jr. of Porter & McEachin, Florence, for appellant.

Michael M. Nunn of Coleman, Aiken & Chase, Florence, for respondent.

BELL, Judge:

This is an action in tort for personal injury allegedly arising out of the illegal sale of alcohol to a minor. Mark Stephen Steele sued Michael Rogers, David Jackson, and Smith-Rogers Oil Company, Inc., seeking damages for injuries from a gunshot wound. The complaint alleged, among other things, that [306 S.C. 548] the Oil Company sold two six packs of beer to Rogers, who was seventeen years of age, and, as a result, Steele was shot with a sawed off shotgun. After answering the complaint, the Oil Company moved for summary judgment. The circuit court granted the motion. Steele appeals. We reverse and remand.

Summary judgment should be granted only when there is no genuine issue of

Page 331

material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the evidence and inferences to be drawn therefrom must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Davis v. Piedmont Engineers, Architects and Planners, P.A., 284 S.C. 20, 324 S.E.2d 325 (Ct.App.1984).

Viewed in the light most favorable to Steele, the evidence was as follows. On the evening of May 12, 1984, Steele met three friends, David Jackson, Michael Rogers, and Clay Baldwin, at a skating rink in the Pee Dee Community of Marion County, South Carolina. All four were teenaged minors at the time. While they were at the rink, they sneaked outside to drink a beer from someone's car. When they were ready to leave the rink, they got into Steele's car. They decided to purchase more beer and go to Rogers' house to drink it. Rogers said he knew a lady at Tiger Mart, a convenience store operated by the Oil Company, where he could probably "get by" with purchasing the beer.

Steele drove to the Tiger Mart. Rogers went into the store and purchased two six packs of beer while the other three sat in the car and watched. They could see the cashier from the car. When Rogers returned to the car with the beer, he handed it to Baldwin, who passed it out. Baldwin, Rogers, and Jackson began drinking beer in the car on the way to Rogers' house, a two or three minute drive from the Tiger Mart. At the house, the group went in, watched television, and continued drinking beer.

While they were drinking, they began talking about guns. After they consumed two or three beers apiece, Rogers went to another room and brought back a sawed off shotgun. It was passed around the group. They decided to go outside and fire the gun. Rogers again left the room and returned with ammunition and a .22 caliber rifle. He gave two or three shotgun shells to Jackson, who was holding the shotgun. As they left the house, Jackson, with the shotgun in hand, was following [306 S.C. 549] Steele across a screened porch. The shotgun accidentally discharged, wounding Steele in the leg. There was evidence that at the time of the accident, the group could feel the effect of the alcohol and that, although no one was falling down drunk, they had "a little buzz on" from drinking the beer.

Steele stated two causes of action against the Oil Company: one based on negligence per se and one based on public nuisance. In the order granting summary judgment, the circuit court assumed for the purpose of deciding the motion that the Oil Company knowingly sold beer to a person under eighteen years of age. The court found the sale violated statutes and regulations in effect at the time and that these violations constituted negligence per se and a public nuisance. The court then held Steele must additionally prove the injuries from the accidental shooting were the proximate result of the Oil Company's conduct. Turning to the question of proximate cause, the court stated:

In the present case, there is no evidence that any of the youth [sic] involved became intoxicated or impaired as a result of the Defendant's alleged sale of alcohol. Intoxication or at least some impairment would be essential to establish proximate cause in the present case. The mere placing of...

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8 practice notes
  • Allen v. Long Mfg. NC, Inc., No. 2878.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 10, 1998
    ...claim of liability for negligence, the breach of a duty of care must be the proximate cause of the resulting injury. See Steele v. Rogers, 306 S.C. 546, 413 S.E.2d 329 (Ct.App.1992). The plaintiff has the burden of showing that a warning would have made a difference in the conduct of the pe......
  • Marcum v. Bowden, Opinion No. 26035 (SC 8/29/2005), Opinion No. 26035.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 29, 2005
    ...while negligence per se, does not support recovery of damages because violation was not proximate cause of injury); Steele v. Rogers, 306 S.C. 546, 413 S.E.2d 329 (Ct. App. 1992) (sale of alcoholic beverages to minor does not render vendor strictly liable for every ensuing act; even if sale......
  • Chastain v. Hiltabidle, No. 4487.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • January 22, 2009
    ...non-moving party must offer some evidence that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to each element of the claim. Steele v. Rogers, 306 S.C. 546, 552, 413 S.E.2d 329, 333 (Ct. LAW & ANALYSIS 1. Due Process/Notice Realtor first argues the trial court's grant of summary judgment should ......
  • Alston v. Blue Ridge Transfer Co., No. 1809
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 16, 1992
    ...have been avoided." Gunnels v. Roach, 243 S.C. 248, 251, 133 S.E.2d 757, 759 (1963); Steele v. Smith-Rogers Oil Co., Inc., --- S.C. ---, 413 S.E.2d 329, 331 (1992) (discussion of proximate cause). The mere fact the speed of the truck placed it in its lane opposite Alston at the time of the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Allen v. Long Mfg. NC, Inc., No. 2878.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 10, 1998
    ...claim of liability for negligence, the breach of a duty of care must be the proximate cause of the resulting injury. See Steele v. Rogers, 306 S.C. 546, 413 S.E.2d 329 (Ct.App.1992). The plaintiff has the burden of showing that a warning would have made a difference in the conduct of the pe......
  • Marcum v. Bowden, Opinion No. 26035 (SC 8/29/2005), Opinion No. 26035.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 29, 2005
    ...while negligence per se, does not support recovery of damages because violation was not proximate cause of injury); Steele v. Rogers, 306 S.C. 546, 413 S.E.2d 329 (Ct. App. 1992) (sale of alcoholic beverages to minor does not render vendor strictly liable for every ensuing act; even if sale......
  • Chastain v. Hiltabidle, No. 4487.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • January 22, 2009
    ...non-moving party must offer some evidence that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to each element of the claim. Steele v. Rogers, 306 S.C. 546, 552, 413 S.E.2d 329, 333 (Ct. LAW & ANALYSIS 1. Due Process/Notice Realtor first argues the trial court's grant of summary judgment should ......
  • Alston v. Blue Ridge Transfer Co., No. 1809
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 16, 1992
    ...have been avoided." Gunnels v. Roach, 243 S.C. 248, 251, 133 S.E.2d 757, 759 (1963); Steele v. Smith-Rogers Oil Co., Inc., --- S.C. ---, 413 S.E.2d 329, 331 (1992) (discussion of proximate cause). The mere fact the speed of the truck placed it in its lane opposite Alston at the time of the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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