Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Christie v. Oakland V.A. Administration

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

July 31, 2019

BRIAN T. CHRISTIE, Plaintiff,
v.
OAKLAND V.A. ADMINISTRATION, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Mark R. Hornak Chief United States District Judge.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Brian Christie, a Vietnam War veteran acting pro se, filed his Complaint (ECF No. 1) in this Court on May 11, 2017, alleging a claim for medical negligence for the care and treatment he received at the Oakland V.A. Medical Center. He alleges that he was given substandard care resulting in a brain aneurism. (ECF No. 1-1.)

         He sought assistance from the Court to obtain legal counsel, given the complexity of his lawsuit and his inexperience in the medical and legal matters involved. The Court contacted the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, and thereafter attorney Peter Giglione entered his appearance as counsel of record. (ECF No. 26.) However, the Court later granted Giglione's motion to withdraw. (ECF No. 39.) On the same date, October 8, 2018, the Court administratively closed the case and instructed Plaintiff to file a Certificate of Merit as required under Pennsylvania law within sixty (60) days. (Id.)

         On January 25, 2019, the Court received a letter from Plaintiff describing his account of records he had found and the names of the doctors that he says mistreated him. (ECF No. 40.) On April 2, 2019, the Court issued a Memorandum Order again directing Plaintiff to file a Certificate of Merit and describing the form such Certificate could take under Pa. R. Civ. P. 1042.3(a)(1)&(e). (ECF No. 46.)

         On May 2, 2019, the Court received another letter from Plaintiff, which: (a) stated that he had contacted state and county courts and those courts did not want to be involved in his case; and (b) set forth his own description and account of his mistreatment. (ECF No. 47.) This correspondence did not include a written statement by a licensed professional, or a certification that expert testimony of a licensed professional was unnecessary. (Id.)

         The United States filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 49.) Plaintiff did not respond to the Motion. The Court has reviewed the Motion, the briefing in support therein, all applicable law, and the record in this case, and the matter is ripe for the Court's disposition.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Defendant has moved for summary judgment on the grounds that he did not attach the requisite Certificate of Merit to his Complaint.

         A. Legal Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate if the record establishes "that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). Initially, the moving party bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The movant meets this burden by pointing to an absence of evidence supporting an essential element on which the non-moving party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Id. at 325. Once the moving party meets its burden, the burden then shifts to the non-moving party to show that there is a genuine issue for trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2). An issue is "genuine" only if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find for the non-moving party, and a factual dispute is "material" only if it might affect the outcome of the action under the governing law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986).

         In opposing summary judgment, the non-moving party "may not rely merely on allegations or denials in its own pleadings; rather, its response must ... set out specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2). The nonmoving party "cannot rely on unsupported allegations, but must go beyond pleadings and provide some evidence that would show that there exists a genuine issue for trial." Jones v. United Parcel Serv., 214 F.3d 402, 407 (3d Cir. 2000). Arguments made in briefs "are not evidence and cannot by themselves create a factual dispute sufficient to defeat a summary judgment motion." Jersey Cent. Power & Light Co. v. Twp. of Lacey, 772 F.2d 1103, 1109-10 (3d Cir. 1985).

         B. Analysis

         Plaintiff asserts a claim against the United States of America under the FTCA that the doctors and staff at the Oakland V.A. Medical Center were negligent in treating ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.