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South Carolina Rule of Evidence: 408


Evidence of (1) furnishing or offering or promising to furnish, or (2) accepting or offering or promising to accept, a valuable consideration in compromising or attempting to compromise a claim which was disputed as to either validity or amount, is not admissible to prove liability for or invalidity of the claim or its amount. Evidence of conduct or statements made in compromise negotiations is likewise not admissible. This rule does not require the exclusion of any evidence otherwise discoverable merely because it is presented in the course of compromise negotiations. This rule also does not require exclusion when the evidence is offered for another purpose, such as proving bias or prejudice of a witness, negativing a contention of undue delay, or proving an effort to obstruct a criminal investigation or prosecution.


This rule is identical to the federal rule. It is generally the rule in South Carolina that evidence relating to settlements is not admissible to prove liability. Hunter v. Hyder, 236 S.C. 378, 114 S.E.2d 493 (1960); see also Woodward v. Southern Railway, 88 S.C. 453, 70 S.E. 1060 (1911) (evidence of disclosures made by either party to the other, directly or indirectly, in negotiations for a compromise is not admissible). Evidence of an offer to compromise may be admissible for some other purpose. Meehan v. Commercial Casualty Ins. Co., 166 S.C. 496, 165 S.E. 194 (1932) (evidence of offers of compromise made by alleged agent of a party admissible for purpose of proving agency).


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