Tant v. Dan River, Inc.

Decision Date06 May 1986
Docket NumberNo. 22575,22575
Citation289 S.C. 325,345 S.E.2d 495
PartiesCharles T. TANT and Ann M. Tant, Petitioners, v. DAN RIVER, INC., Respondent; and H.B. LYNN and Lona C. Lynn, Petitioners, v. DAN RIVER, INC., Respondent; and Viola S. PARRISH, Petitioner, v. DAN RIVER, INC., Respondent; and Kathleen S. DuBOSE, Petitioner, v. DAN RIVER, INC., Respondent. . Heard
CourtSouth Carolina Supreme Court

Joseph G. Wright, of Wright & Trammell, Anderson, for petitioners.

John B. Britton and N. Heyward Clarkson, III, both of Rainey, Britton, Gibbes & Clarkson, Greenville, for respondent.

R.W. Dibble, Jr., of McNair, Glenn, Konduros, Corley, Singletary, Porter & Dibble, Columbia, for S.C. Chamber of Commerce, amicus curiae.

PER CURIAM:

We granted certiorari to review a portion of the decision of the Court of Appeals reported at 286 S.C. 140, 332 S.E.2d 534 (Ct.App.1985). We reverse.

Homeowners (petitioners) brought suit against Dan River, Inc., (respondent) for negligence in permitting its boiler system to emit a black sooty material which damaged their homes and property. A jury awarded the homeowners actual and punitive damages. The Court of Appeals reversed the awards of punitive damages, finding there was no evidence to warrant submission of punitive damages to the jury. We disagree.

In reviewing a motion for directed verdict, an appellate court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. If the facts are susceptible of more than one reasonable inference, a directed verdict is properly denied. Riddle v. Pitts, 283 S.C. 387, 324 S.E.2d 59 (1984). When there is conflicting testimony on an issue of fact the issue must be submitted to the jury. Hammond v. Cummins Engine Company, Inc., 287 S.C. 200, 336 S.E.2d 867 (1985). It is reversible error for an appellate court to supplant the jury's findings of fact with its own. Todd v. South Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, 287 S.C. 190, 336 S.E.2d 472 (1985).

The testimony and evidence at trial indicated Dan River was aware of emission problems with its boiler system prior to receiving complaints from the homeowners. Internal memoranda indicated Dan River had knowledge the boiler system was in "poor mechanical shape because of age," and was "on the ragged edge" relative to compliance with state regulations. Approximately three weeks after the homeowners initially complained of damage from emissions, a Dan River employee filed an internal report confirming that emissions from the boiler chimney were "at times well above the state and federal air pollution control standards" and reporting he had recorded as many as ten violations in a single day.

A jury question as to punitive damages is presented when there is evidence of a statutory violation. Rhodes v. Lawrence, 279 S.C. 96, 302 S.E.2d 343 (1983). Legislative regulations have...

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8 cases
  • Ravan v. Greenville County
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • February 17, 1993
    ...was insufficient and cite the cases of Rhodes v. Lawrence, 279 S.C. 96, 97, 302 S.E.2d 343, 344 (1983), and Tant v. Dan River, Inc., 289 S.C. 325, 326, 345 S.E.2d 495, 496 (1986), for the principle of law that violation of an agency regulation is sufficient evidence of recklessness, willful......
  • Cartee v. Lesley
    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • May 19, 1986
    ...S.E.2d 341 (1960). The test may also be satisfied by evidence of the causative violation of an applicable statute. Tant v. Dan River, Inc., 289 S.C. 325, 345 S.E.2d 495 (1986); Cantrell v. Carruth, 250 S.C. 415, 158 S.E.2d 208 (1967). However, before punitive damages may be submitted to the......
  • Cooper by Cooper v. County of Florence
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • February 21, 1989
    ...the likelihood of harm to the plaintiff and acted with indifference to the requirements of the statute. See Tant v. Dan River, Inc., 289 S.C. 325, 345 S.E.2d 495 (1986) (defendant aware of statutory violation and resulting damage to Cooper claims Turner may have violated three different sta......
  • Norton v. Opening Break of Aiken, Inc.
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • March 9, 1994
    ...Both points may be disposed of briefly. I. Regulations authorized by the Legislature have the force of law. Tant v. Dan River, Inc., 289 S.C. 325, 345 S.E.2d 495 (1986). Violation of a regulation may constitute negligence per se. See, e.g., Id. (violation of state and federal air pollution ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
4 books & journal articles
  • A. Nuisance
    • United States
    • The South Carolina Law of Torts (SCBar) Chapter 3 Strict Liability
    • Invalid date
    ...e.g., Tant v. Dan River, Inc., 286 S.C. 140, 332 S.E.2d 534 (liability for negligent emission of sooty material), rev'd on other grounds, 289 S.C. 325, 326, 345 S.E.2d 495, 496 (1986).[30] See, e.g., Davis v. Palmetto Quarries Co., 212 S.C. 496, 48 S.E.2d 329 (1948); Frost v. Berkeley Phosp......
  • A. Duty and Breach of Duty
    • United States
    • The South Carolina Law of Torts (SCBar) Chapter 2 Negligence and Similar Breaches of Duty
    • Invalid date
    ...(one who learns of harm from soot from old boiler is not reckless where he takes reasonable steps to correct problem), rev'd in part, 289 S.C. 325, 345 S.E.2d 495. [155] See, e.g., Taylor v. Medenica, 324 S.C. 200, 479 S.E.2d 35, 45-46 (1996); Martin v. Martin, 262 S.C. 168, 174, 203 S.E.2d......
  • D. "pure Economic Loss" and the "economic Loss Doctrine"
    • United States
    • The South Carolina Law of Torts (SCBar) Chapter 8 Damages
    • Invalid date
    ...286 S.C. 140, 144-45, 332 S.E.2d 534, 537-38 (Ct. App. 1985) (citing numerous cases from other jurisdictions), rev'd on other grounds, 289 S.C. 325, 345 S.E.2d 495 (1986). [303] See, e.g., Broom v. Se. Highway Contracting Co., 291 S.C. 93, 98, 352 S.E.2d 302, 305 (Ct. App. 1986); Field v. G......
  • A. Injury/invasion of Real Property
    • United States
    • South Carolina Damages (SCBar) Chapter 4 Tort Damages Involving Property
    • Invalid date
    ...477-78 (1950).[9] Id.[10] Winget v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., 242 S.C. 152, 130 S.E.2d 363, 369 (1963).[11] Id., 130 S.E.2d at 371.[12] 289 S.C. 325, 345 S.E.2d 495 (1986).[13] Id. at 326-27, 345 S.E.2d at 495-96.[14] Id.[15] Snow v. City of Columbia, 305 S.C. 544, 409 S.E.2d 797, 802 (Ct. A......

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