United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
Ukaegbu, Plaintiff, represented by Justin Simon Kahn, Kahn
Law Firm, S. Scott Bluestein, Bluestein Law Firm & Wes Baker
Allison, Kahn Law Firm.
Regional Medical Center, Defendant, represented by David
Cornwell Holler, Lee Erter Wilson James Holler and Smith.
D Flemming, Defendant, represented by James D. Nance, Nance
McCants and Massey.
Gregory A Finch, Defendant, represented by James D. Nance,
Nance McCants and Massey.
Midlands Emergency Physicians PA, Defendant, represented by
James D. Nance, Nance McCants and Massey.
ORDER AND OPINION
MARGARET B. SEYMOUR, Senior District Judge.
Nogozi Ukaegbu filed the within action on April 29, 2014,
against Defendants Tuomey Regional Medical Center
("Tuomey"); Tracey D. Flemming, M.D.
("Flemming"); Gregory A. Finch, P.A.
("Finch"); and Midlands Emergency Physicians, P.A.
("Midlands"). Plaintiff contends that Flemming and
Finch were on duty on December 31, 2011, when Plaintiff twice
presented at the Tuomey emergency room for "psychiatric
problems." Plaintiff alleges Flemming and Finch failed
to obtain a psychiatric evaluation to determine the extent of
care and treatment required for Plaintiff before discharging
him. After he was discharged from the second visit, Plaintiff
was struck and severely injured by a vehicle while he walking
in the road less than a mile and a half from Tuomey.
Plaintiff asserts a claim for medical negligence as to
Flemming and Finch; a claim that Midlands is liable for the
acts and omissions of Flemming and Finch under the doctrine
of respondeat superior; and a claim that Tuomey is liable for
the acts and omissions of Flemming and Finch under the
doctrine of a nondelegable duty, as well as for the
negligence of its nurses and other staff.
filed an answer on May 20, 2014, in which it asserted, among
25. Tuomey asserts the protections of South Carolina
Code §33-56-10, et. seq., known as the South Carolina
Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act, including without
limitation, a bar to recovery and/or limitation of liability
limits and/or limitation of degree of actionable conduct.
support of its defense, Tuomey filed a motion for judicial
notice of 501(c)(3) status, to extend time, and for partial
summary judgment filed by Tuomey on March 9, 2016. Tuomey
contends that it is a charitable organization under S.C. Code
Ann. § 33-56-170 because it is exempt from taxation
under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and
therefore entitled to the limits of liability under S.C. Code
Ann. § 33-56-180. Plaintiff filed a response in
opposition on March 28, 2016. The court held a hearing on
June 14, 2016.
hearing, the court observed that Tuomey, although arguing
that it is entitled to 501(c)(3) status, failed to provide
the court with the "necessary information" to
support its claim. See Fed.R.Evid. 201. Accordingly, the
court ordered Tuomey to produce documentation demonstrating
its 501(c)(3) status. In addition, the court directed the
parties to provide additional briefing as to Plaintiff's
argument that, even if Tuomey is a charitable organization,
it is not entitled to the protections of the South Carolina
Tort Claims Act because Flemming and Finch are independent
contractors rather than employees of Tuomey.