United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Aiken Division
John Yonce, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Katherine Yonce, Plaintiff,
Ayaz Chaudhary and Georgia Gastroenterology, LLC, Defendants.
ORDER AND OPINION
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).
RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
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.
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
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
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.
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.