A North Myrtle Beach skydiving company will be allowed to sue Horry County, due to a decision by the South Carolina Supreme Court, which overruled previous decisions from lower courts.
After a rocky relationship with Horry County, Skydive Myrtle Beach was evicted in 2015 from its space in the Grand Strand Airport by the county due to safety concerns. At the time, officials documented 100 concerns of skydivers landing too close to S.C. 31, a helicopter and near taxiing airplanes.
The company’s operator, Aaron Holly, told The Sun News in 2015 he felt the eviction was unfair.
“This is like a ‘Twilight [Zone]’ movie,” said Holly, who ran the company at the location from 2012 to 2015. “I just got shut down because somebody’s pissed off at me at the department of airports. … This is a completely safe operation run by all military and combat vets.”
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In 2014, Skydive Myrtle Beach sued Horry County and the individual employees involved in the eviction process over the effort to push them out of the space. The company was not formally evicted until October 2015. According to court documents, Skydive accused the county of “retaliatory eviction notices.”
Because Skydive Myrtle Beach also filed against individual employees, the Horry County Circuit Court dismissed the case due to the employees acting in their official government capacity, which is protected under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act. Skydive Myrtle Beach tried to amend the suit to make it just against Horry County, but the court did not allow it.
The Supreme Court did not take issue with the lower court dismissing the suit against individual employees, but overruled the lower court, saying the lawsuit could continue with the proposed amendments to say the employees were acting outside their official roles.
Horry County Spokesperson Kelly Moore said the county does not make statements in ongoing lawsuits.
Holly did not respond to a request for comment.