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2007-UP-317 - Peltier v. Metts

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Brian E. Peltier, Appellant,

v.

Jobe C. Metts, M.D., Florida Medical Development, Inc., Tenet South Carolina, Inc., d/b/a East Copper Regional Medical Center, University Medical Associates of the Medical University of South Carolina, Carolina Specialty Care, Inc., Carolina Specialty Care Physicians, P.A., Defendants,

of whom Jobe C. Metts, M.D. is the Respondent.


Appeal From Charleston County
 J. C. Buddy Nicholson, Jr., Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2007-UP-317
Heard June 5, 2007 – Filed June 14, 2007   


AFFIRMED


Brian E. Peltier, of Charleston, for Appellant.

Sandra J. Senn and Robin L. Jackson, of Charleston, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Brian Peltier appeals the circuit court’s order granting Dr. Jobe Metts’ motion to dismiss because Peltier failed to comply with the two-year statute of limitations under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act.  See S.C. Code Ann. § 15-78-110 (2005).  We affirm.

On September 25, 2002, Dr. Metts performed a lithotripsy procedure on Peltier.  At the time, Dr. Metts worked at a satellite urology clinic for the Medical University of South Carolina (“MUSC”).  On September 25, 2005, Peltier brought this action against Dr. Metts, among others, alleging Dr. Metts negligently performed the lithotripsy procedure.  Dr. Metts moved the circuit court to dismiss Peltier’s action against him because it exceeded the two-year statute of limitations under the Tort Claims Act.  The circuit court agreed, and dismissed Peltier’s action.  Peltier appeals.

On appeal, Peltier argues the circuit court erred in dismissing his action for failing to file and serve it within the applicable statute of limitations.  Peltier also asserts the circuit court erred in refusing to allow him to proceed to discovery.  While we recognize Peltier’s position, the record establishes to the exacting summary judgment standard that Dr. Metts worked for MUSC, a government entity under the Tort Claims Act.  S.C. Code Ann. § 15-78-30(d) (2005); Tatum v. Med. Univ. of S.C., 346 S.C. 194, 199, 552 S.E.2d 18, 21 (2001) (“MUSC is a governmental agency subject to the provisions of the Tort Claims Act.”).  Accordingly, absent a verified claim—which Peltier did not file—Peltier had two years to bring his action against MUSC.  S.C. Code Ann. § 15-78-110; see also Joubert v. S.C. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 341 S.C. 176, 186, 534 S.E.2d 1, 6 (Ct. App. 2000).  Because Peltier exceeded this two year limitation, his action is time-barred.[1]  Therefore, the circuit court did not err.

AFFIRMED.

HEARN, C.J., KITTREDGE, J., and CURETON, A.J., concur.


[1]  Because we decide this case based on the applicable statute of limitations, we decline to address Peltier’s remaining assignments of error.  See Futch v. McAllister Towing of Georgetown, Inc., 335 S.C. 598, 613, 518 S.E.2d 591, 598 (1999) (noting that an appellate court need not address the remaining issues when disposition of a prior issue is dispositive).