May 9, 2017 - Filed August 2, 2017
Withdrawn, Substituted, and Refiled September 27, 2017
From Charleston County R. Markley Dennis, Jr., Circuit Court
William Mullins McLeod, Jr., and Jacqueline LaPan Edgerton,
both of McLeod Law Group, LLC, of Charleston, for Appellant.
Dawes Cooke, Jr., Randell Croft Stoney, Jr., and John William
Fletcher, all of Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms, LLC,
of Charleston, for Respondent.
civil matter, John Doe 2 (Doe) appeals the circuit
court's grant of summary judgment to The Citadel, arguing
the court erred in dismissing his claims of negligence/gross
negligence and outrage. We affirm.
case is one of many lawsuits stemming from a child sexual
abuse scandal involving a summer camp at The Citadel, The
Military College of South Carolina (The Citadel), and Louis
"Skip" ReVille. On April 23, 2007, the father of a
former camper at The Citadel's youth summer camp notified
Mark Brandenburg, The Citadel's general counsel, that one
of the camp's counselors had engaged in sexual misconduct
at the camp with his son five years earlier. The former
camper's father told Brandenburg a counselor named Skip
invited his son into his dorm room, where the two watched
pornography together and masturbated. Brandenburg
subsequently spoke by telephone with the former camper, then
nineteen years old, who confirmed that Skip had invited him
into his room, showed him pornography, and convinced him to
masturbate. After reviewing camp records, Brandenburg was
able to identify the counselor as ReVille, who worked at the
camp for three summers from 2001 to 2003.
April 24, 2007, Brandenburg-along with Colonel Joseph Trez,
an executive assistant to John Rosa, The Citadel's
president-met with ReVille, a Citadel graduate who had also
worked with college students as a part-time, temporary tutor
at The Citadel's writing center from August 2006 to April
2007. During the meeting, ReVille emphatically denied the
former camper's allegations. Brandenburg continued to
investigate the allegations from April through July 2007, and
by May 2007, had informed President Rosa of the allegations.
On July 1, 2007, Brandenburg traveled to Texas to meet with
the former camper and his parents. At some point during that
summer, however, Brandenburg fell out of touch with the
former camper. Brandenburg then contacted potential witnesses
who may have been present during the commission of
ReVille's alleged misconduct, but he failed to find one
that could corroborate the former camper's accusations.
The Citadel ended its investigation without reporting the
complaint to law enforcement.
October 2011, ReVille was arrested after confessing to
abusing numerous boys while employed in various educational
and athletic positions in the Charleston area over the span
of nearly a decade. On June 13, 2012, ReVille pleaded guilty
to numerous charges involving the abuse of twenty-three boys
in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties and was
sentenced to fifty years in prison.
met Doe-a young male about to enter the seventh grade-and his
family in the summer of 2005, through ReVille's
involvement with AAU basketball at Pinewood Preparatory
School (Pinewood Prep) in Summerville, South Carolina. That
summer, ReVille began "grooming" Doe and later
abused Doe at ReVille's residence, and he continued to
abuse Doe throughout the 2005-2006 school year. At the time,
ReVille was a teacher at Pinewood Prep. Doe, however, neither
attended Pinewood Prep nor any summer camps or educational
programs at The Citadel. In the spring of 2006, ReVille was
terminated from his teaching position at Pinewood Prep and
accepted Doe's parents' offer to move into the
mother-in-law suite connected to their house. While living
there from May 2006 to June 2007, and for a short period
after moving out, ReVille continuously abused Doe.
ReVille's sexual abuse of Doe ended when Doe and his
family moved to Georgia in the summer of 2007.
filed the instant action against The Citadel on March 19,
2012, alleging claims of negligence/gross negligence and
outrage. In his complaint, Doe claimed actions taken by The
Citadel created a risk that ReVille would be placed in
positions to enable him to victimize young boys, and
subsequently, its failure to prevent this risk allowed
ReVille to sexually abuse him. Doe asserted The Citadel was
in a unique position to warn or prevent ReVille from sexually
abusing young victims like Doe because The Citadel knew of
the reported sexual abuse and it had a special relationship
with ReVille. The Citadel filed a renewed motion for summary
judgment on April 24, 2015. After conducting a hearing, the
circuit court granted The Citadel's motion on July 6,
order, the circuit court dismissed Doe's negligence
claims because it found The Citadel did not owe Doe a duty of
care to prevent ReVille from sexually abusing Doe.
Specifically, the court noted the majority of the abuse of
Doe occurred before the April 2007 allegations by the former
camper. Moreover, the circuit court found it was
"impossible to differentiate the injury that [Doe]
suffered after The Citadel arguably should have stopped
ReVille from abusing him from the unquestionably devastating
injury that [Doe] suffered from his longstanding, ongoing
abuse by ReVille." Accordingly, the court concluded
Doe's injuries arose before, and were not proximately
caused by, any breach of duty by The Citadel.
court also dismissed the outrage claim as a matter of law
because it was barred by the South Carolina Tort Claims
(TCA) and alternatively found no evidence suggested The
Citadel directed any conduct toward Doe. This appeal
appellate court reviews a grant of summary judgment under the
same standard applied by the [circuit] court pursuant to Rule
56, SCRCP." Lanham v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield
of S.C., Inc., 349 S.C. 356, 361, 563 S.E.2d 331, 333
(2002). Summary judgment shall be granted when "the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
show that . . . no genuine issue [exists] as to any material
fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a
matter of law." Rule 56(c), SCRCP. When determining
whether triable issues of material fact exist, the court must
view the evidence and all reasonable inferences in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party. Fleming v.
Rose, 350 S.C. 488, 493-94, 567 S.E.2d 857, 860 (2002).
When the preponderance of the evidence standard applies, the
nonmoving party is only required to submit a mere scintilla
of evidence to withstand a motion for summary judgment.
Hancock v. Mid-South Mgmt. Co., 381 S.C. 326, 330,
673 S.E.2d 801, 803 (2009).