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Yonce v. Chaudhary

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Aiken Division

April 6, 2018

John Yonce, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Katherine Yonce, Plaintiff,
v.
Ayaz Chaudhary and Georgia Gastroenterology, LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER AND OPINION

         This matter is before the court pursuant to Defendants Ayaz Chaudhary and Georgia Gastroenterology, LLC's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 67). Plaintiff John Yonce, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Katherine Yonce, did not file a response in opposition. For the reasons set forth below, the court GRANTS Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 67).

         I. RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On September 28, 2015, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint alleging that Dr. Ayaz Chaudhary committed medical malpractice by deciding not to place a stent in Katherine Yonce's pancreatic duct during an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedure performed on March 12, 2012. (ECF No. 21; ECF No. 67-2 at 2.) Plaintiff's claims against Georgia Gastroenterology, LLC are based solely on the doctrine of respondeat superior. (ECF No. 21.)

         Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Chaudhary's decision to not place a stent in Ms. Yonce's pancreatic duct during the procedure caused the following chain of events:

1) Ms. Yonce to suffer from severe post-ERCP pancreatitis from March 12-16, 2016;
2) leading to respiratory distress (ARDS) on March 16, 2016;
3) requiring her to be intubated on March 16, 2016;
4) leading to respiratory arrest and code on March 16, 2016;
5) leading to an anoxic brain injury on March 16, 2016; and
6) leading to her eventual death on July 13, 2016.

See id. The six-step causal chain of events is the basis of Plaintiff's claims against Dr. Chaudhary and his practice group.[1]

         On December 1, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment asserting that Plaintiff has failed to bring forth sufficient evidence that Plaintiff's death/injuries were proximately caused by any alleged negligence of Defendants (ECF No. 67). Plaintiff did not file a response in opposition.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Summary judgment is appropriate when the materials in the record show that “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “[I]n ruling on a motion for summary judgment, ‘the evidence of the nonmovant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor.'” Tolan v. Cotton, 134 S.Ct. 1861, 1863 (2014) (per curiam) (brackets omitted) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986)). A dispute is genuine “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party, ” and a fact is material if it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

         The party seeking summary judgment shoulders the initial burden of demonstrating to the court that there is no genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the movant has made this threshold demonstration, the nonmoving party, to survive the motion for summary judgment, may not rest on the allegations averred in its pleadings. Rather, the nonmoving party must demonstrate that specific, material facts exist which give rise to a genuine issue. See Id. at 324.

         III. ...


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