Huffman v. Sunshine RecyclingAnnotate this Case
On May 16, 2010, seventy pounds of copper wire and fifty pounds of aluminum tie wire were stolen from Aiken Electric Cooperative, Inc. In total, the stolen wire was worth $463.19. The following day, Mark Goss, Aiken's Loss Control and Safety Coordinator, and Deputy Maurice Huggins viewed a surveillance video from Aiken that depicted an unidentified black male removing copper and aluminum wiring from Aiken trucks. An Aiken employee also reported seeing a white Ford truck driving out of Aiken's parking lot around the time of the theft. As was Goss's typical practice when Aiken suffered a loss of this nature, Goss checked with local metal recyclers to see if the thief tried to sell the copper and aluminum. Following her arrest for receiving stolen goods, Meredith Huffman filed a complaint against the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Department (the Sheriff's Department), Sunshine Recycling, LLC (Sunshine), and Aiken Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Aiken), for negligence, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution. Huffman later settled her claims against the Sheriff's Department, and the two parties filed a stipulation dismissing the Sheriff's Department from the action. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Sunshine and Aiken. The court of appeals reversed. Both Sunshine and Aiken filed petitions for writs of certiorari to review the court of appeals' opinion. The South Carolina Supreme Court granted the petitions, and reversed the court of appeals' opinion as to Sunshine, and affirmed as to Aiken.