Motion for Directed Verdict Cases In South Carolina
In ruling on a motion for directed verdict, the court must view the evidence and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Futch v. McAllister Towing, 335 S.C. 598, 518 S.E.2d 591 (1999); Collins v. Bisson Moving & Storage, Inc., 332 S.C. 290, 504 S.E.2d 347 (Ct. App. 1998).
See also Weir v. Citicorp Nat'l Servs., Inc., 312 S.C. 511, 435 S.E.2d 864 (1993) (illustrating an appellate court must apply the same standard when reviewing the trial judge's decision on such motions).
When the evidence yields only one inference, a directed verdict in favor of the moving party is proper. Swinton Creek Nursery v. Edisto Farm Credit, 334 S.C. 469, 514 S.E.2d 126 (1999); Arthurs v. Aiken County, 338 S.C. 253, 525 S.E.2d 542 (Ct. App. 1999).
If more than one reasonable inference can be drawn from the evidence, the case must be submitted to the jury. Mullinax v. J.M. Brown Amusement Co., 333 S.C. 89, 508 S.E.2d 848 (1998); Arthurs, supra.
In ruling on a directed verdict motion, the trial court is concerned only with the existence or non-existence of evidence. Long v. Norris & Assocs., Ltd (2000) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 36 at 28); Jones v. General Elec. Co., 331 S.C. 351, 503 S.E.2d 173 (Ct. App. 1998).
This Court may only reverse the denial of a motion for directed verdict if no evidence supports the trial court's ruling. Swinton Creek Nursery, supra; Arthurs, supra.