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South Carolina


Statutes of Limitations (SOUTH CAROLINA)

Personal Injury - 3 yrs. [S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530]; from the time Plaintiff knew or should have known that he had a cause of action [S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-535]

Wrongful Death - 3 yrs. (from date of death) [S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530]

Med Mal - 3 yrs. (discovery rule applies, but cannot sue later than 6 yrs. from occurrence) [S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-545]

Property Damage - 3 yrs. [S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530]

Contracts (Written and Oral) - 3 yrs. [S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530]

Contracts for Sale (goods) and Breach of Warranty - 6 yrs. (discovery rule applies) [S.C. Code Ann. § 36-2-725]




Statutes of Repose (SOUTH CAROLINA)

Products - None

Construction of Real Property - 8 yrs. [S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-640]




Claims Against Public/Gov. Entities (NOTE: “Sovereign Immunity” Limitations May Apply) (SOUTH CAROLINA)

Against All Entities - May either present claim or file suit.  If claim is filed, cannot sue until after the occurrence of the earliest of one of the following events: (1) passage of 180 days from the filing of claim; (2) disallowance of the claim, or (3) rejection of a settlement offer by the entity [S.C. Code Ann. § 15-78-90].  Suit must filed within 2 yrs. (3 yrs. if claim was presented first) [S.C. Code Ann. §§ 15-78-100, 15-78-110]




Comparative Negligence (SOUTH CAROLINA)

Modified comparative (damages are diminished in proportion to Plaintiff’s fault, but Plaintiff cannot recover if he is 51% at fault) [Nelson v. Concrete Supply Co., 399 S.E.2d 783 (S.C. 1991)]




Made Whole Doctrine (MWD) (SOUTH CAROLINA)

MWD has not been addressed by case law.  At the same time, there is a statute declaring that any policy of accident and health insurance may include provisions for subrogation against Tortfeasors for not more than the amount of insurance benefits that Insurer has paid; and attorneys’ fees and costs must be paid by Insurer from the amounts recovered [S.C. Code Ann. § 38-71-190]




Economic Loss Doctrine (ELD) (Assuming No Injury to Person or Damage to “Other Property”) (SOUTH CAROLINA)

Recognized/applied with many exceptions.  There is no tort liability for a product defect if the damage suffered by Plaintiff is only to the product itself [Sapp v. Ford Motor Co., 687 S.E.2d 47 (S.C. 2009)] 


Where a buyer’s expectations in a sale are frustrated because the product does not work properly, the buyer’s remedies are limited to those prescribed by the law of contract.  However, the rule distinguishes between transactions involving the sale of goods, where contract law protects economic expectations, and transactions involving the sale of defective products to individual consumers, whose injuries are traditionally remedied by the law of torts [Palmetto Linen Service, Inc. v. U.N.X., Inc., 205 F.3d 126 (4th Cir. 2000)]


Builder may be held responsible in negligence to new home purchasers although builder did not sell home and damages suffered were only of economic nature, where builder has violated applicable building code, builder has deviated from industry standards, or builder has constructed housing that he knows or should know will pose serious risks of physical harm [Kennedy v. Columbia Lumber and Mfg. Co., Inc., 384 S.E.2d 730 (S.C. 1989)]


The question of whether the plaintiff may maintain an action in tort for purely economic loss turns on the determination of the source of the duty plaintiff claims the defendant owed; a breach of a duty arising independently of any contract duties may support a tort action [Koontz v. Thomas, 511 S.E.2d 407 (S.C. App. 1999)]


Engineer of water trunk construction project owed duty to contractor, independent of any contract duties, not to negligently design or negligently supervise project, and thus ELD did not prohibit contractor from maintaining suit in tort against engineer for purely economic losses where engineer designed project specifically for county, engineer supervised construction, and engineer had right to inspect and halt construction [Tommy L. Griffin Plumbing & Heating Co. v. Jordan, Jones & Goulding, Inc., 463 S.E.2d 85 (S.C. 1995)]




Certificate/Affidavit Of Merit Requirements (Claims Against Licensed Professionals) (SOUTH CAROLINA)

In an action alleging professional negligence against a licensed professional, Plaintiff must file as part of the complaint an affidavit of an expert witness which must specify at least one negligent act or omission claimed to exist and the factual basis for each claim based on the available evidence at the time of the filing of the affidavit.  This statute applies to 22 professions, including architects, medical providers, land surveyors, and engineers. [S.C. Code Ann. § 15-36-100]




Landlord/Tenant Subrogation (SOUTH CAROLINA)

No subrogation by Landlord’s insurer is allowed.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no insurer has a cause of action against a tenant who causes damage to real or personal property leased by the landlord to the tenant when the insurer is liable to the landlord for the damages under an insurance contract between the landlord and the insurer, unless the damage is caused by the tenant intentionally or in reckless disregard of the rights of others. [S.C. Code Ann. § 38-75-60]




Reimbursement of Deductible(s) (SOUTH CAROLINA)

No law available.




MedPay and PIP - No subrogation allowed and/or no such coverage available.




Liability of Parents (SOUTH CAROLINA)

$5000 for malicious or willful acts [S.C. Code Ann. § 63-5-60]. Any negligence or willful misconduct of a minor driver must be imputed to the person who has signed the application minor’s permit/license. [S.C. Code Ann. § 56-1-110]




Joint Liability (SOUTH CAROLINA)

Several liability for Defendants who are less than 50% at fault (Plaintiff can recover from each Defendant only that Defendant’s share of liability).  Defendants who are 50% more at fault or Defendants who acted willfully are jointly and severally liable (Plaintiff may recover all damages from any Defendant regardless of Defendant’s individual share of liability) [S.C. Code Ann. § 15-38-15]



Independent Cause of Action for Evidence Spoliation (SOUTH CAROLINA)

South Carolina has not recognized a tort of first party negligent spoliation of evidence [Cole Vision Corp. v. Hobbs, 714 S.E.2d 537 (S.C. 2011)]




Conflicts of Law (SOUTH CAROLINA)

Torts - When action is brought in one jurisdiction for tort which caused injury in another jurisdiction, substantive law is determined by the law of the state in which the injury occurred [Thornton v. Cessna Aircraft Co., 886 F.2d 85 (4th Cir.1989)].  Contracts - Courts will apply substantive law of the place where the contract was formed; however, where performance is at issue, the law of the place of performance governs [Lister v. Nations Bank of Delaware, N.A., 494 S.E. 2d 449 (S.C. App. 1997)].




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