South Carolina Federal Court Addresses Pre-Trial Evidentiary Issues in Negligence Lawsuit by Injured Worker – Quarterman v. Spirit Line Cruises, LLC

Cruse ship leaving port.

The litigation of a personal injury case can be protracted and sometimes complex. Many issues can arise, and the parties may disagree at every possible juncture. It is then up to the trial judge to decide the various pre-trial, trial, and post-trial issues that arise.

A recent federal case sheds some light on some of the pre-trial issues that may come up in a personal injury case.

Facts of the Case

In the recent case of Quarterman v. Spirit Line Cruises, LLC, the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina at Charleston was called upon to decide multiple issues, several of an evidentiary nature, in a case arising after a man slipped and fell on board a ship while working on a sound system in 2011. He filed suit against the owner of the ship and others, seeking redress for injuries sustained in the fall.

The Issue to be Decided

The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment and motions in limine to exclude a certain doctor as an expert witness, to exclude the post-deposition opinion of another doctor, and to exclude certain documents produced after the close of discovery. The plaintiff, in turn, filed motions to compel, for a negative presumption, and for partial summary judgment.

The Court’s Decision

The court denied both parties’ motions for summary judgment, denied the plaintiff’s motions to compel and for a negative presumption, and denied the defendant’s motions in limine except as to one particular issue. According to the court, the plaintiff failed to provide justification for the late filing of certain expert opinions and medical records, and these were thus to be excluded at trial.

As to the plaintiff’s motions, the court found that there was insufficient evident of willfulness to impose a negative presumption against the defendant regarding the disappearance of certain evidence, and the plaintiff had failed to include a required certification of good faith as to the discovery dispute between the parties. The defendant was given additional time in which to re-depose one of the plaintiff’s medical experts, who had apparently changed his opinion following a previous deposition.

Since there were genuine issues of material fact, the court found that neither party was entitled to summary judgment.

To Talk to a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a person close to you has been hurt, and you believe another person, a business, or a governmental entity is to blame, you need to talk to an experienced South Carolina work injury attorney as soon as possible. Deadlines, such as the statute of limitations, limit the time during which an injured person may file suit in a court of law, and a failure to file can mean the dismissal of an otherwise valid negligence claim. To schedule an appointment to discuss your case, call the Law Offices of Patrick E. Knie at (864) 582-5118 and ask for a free case evaluation. Our offices are located in Greenville and Spartanburg. We serve clients throughout South Carolina.

Related Blog Posts:

Homeowner’s Negligence Suit Against Inspector Should Not Have Been Dismissed on Summary Judgment on Timeliness Issue – McAlhany v. Carter

Subcontractor’s Employee Who Was Killed While Returning to South Carolina After Making a Delivery Was a Statutory Employer of an Upstream Contractor – Collins v. Seko Charlotte