SHOWRI PALEPU, M.D. Appellant
RICHARD BONDI, M.D.
from the Order March 2, 2016 In the Court of Common Pleas of
Allegheny County Civil Division at No(s): No. GD-14-001811.
BEFORE: BENDER, P.J.E., RANSOM, J. and, MUSMANNO, J.
Palepu, M.D. (Appellant) appeals from the order entered on
March 2, 2016, which granted Appellee's motion for
summary judgment. We affirm.
2012, Barbara Moore, R.N. was a staff nurse at UPMC
McKeesport as she had been for approximately thirty-five
years. Moore Dep., 6/29/15, 10:7-17. Toward the end of 2012,
an incident occurred in the operating room between Ms. Moore
and Appellant, surgeon. Id. at 11:2-14. According to
Ms. Moore, Appellant made a disparaging remark about her age.
Id. Following the operation, Ms. Moore informed
another nurse that Appellant upset her; Ms. Moore further
discussed the incident with her supervisor, Gina Ruggieri.
Id. at 30:17-21. Richard Bondi, M.D. (Appellee),
through his role as Chairman of the Department of Surgery at
UPMC McKeesport, learned of the incident between Appellant
and Ms. Moore. Bondi Dep., 3/20/15, 27:1-12. Appellee spoke
to Ms. Ruggieri who confirmed that Ms. Moore had reported the
incident. Id. at 30:11-16. In February of 2013,
Appellee attended a peer review committee meeting at which he
relayed to the committee the incident as reported to him.
Id. at 37:12-17, 45:18-22.
April 2014, Appellant filed a complaint alleging that the
statement made by Appellee to the peer review committee
placed Appellant in a false light and constituted defamation
and injurious falsehood. Following preliminary objections,
Appellant filed an amended complaint. The court permitted
Appellant to file a second amended complaint to which
Appellee filed another set of preliminary objections. The
trial court granted the preliminary objections in part,
permitting Appellant to proceed on two claims, defamation and
discovery, in August 2015, Appellee filed a motion for
summary judgment. In response to Appellee's motion for
summary judgment, Appellant conceded that:
(1) Nurse Moore believed Appellant made a disparaging remark
about her age; and
(2) Ms. Ruggieri confirmed the reported incident to Appellee.
12/9/15, ¶¶ 37, 43, 73.
trial court issued a Memorandum granting Appellee's
motion for summary judgment. In March 2016, Appellant filed a
motion for reconsideration, which was denied by the court.
Appellant timely filed a notice of appeal and raised the
Whether the trial court erred in granting summary judgment
where the plaintiff submitted evidence of facts which in a
jury trial would require issues to be submitted to a jury.
Brief at 4.
contends the trial court erred in granting Appellee summary
judgment. In reviewing a grant of summary judgment, an
appellate court may disturb the order of the trial court only
where there has been an error of law or a clear abuse of
discretion. Albright v. Abington MemorialHosp., 696 A.2d ...