ORTEGA et al.
COFFEY et al.
BARNES, P. J., MCMILLIAN and REESE, JJ.
BARNES, PRESIDING JUDGE.
the death of her husband and injury of her minor son in a
vehicle accident, Mary Ortega, as surviving spouse and
administrator of the estate of Armando Ortega and the parent
and guardian of Armando Ortega, Jr., filed a complaint for
damages against Okefenokee Emergency Medical Services, Inc.,
d/b/a Atkinson County Emergency Medical Service
("Okefenokee EMS"), Atkinson County,  and David Coffey,
the Atkinson County Road Superintendent, in his individual
capacity. Ortega claimed that Okefenokee EMS had failed to
properly and timely address the injuries to her husband and
son, and that Coffey had failed to inspect and maintain the
roadway which caused her husband's death and son's
injuries. Okefenokee EMS and Coffey filed motions for summary
judgment, which the trial court granted upon concluding that
both defendants were immune from liability. Ortega appeals
from those orders and contends that Coffey was not entitled
to official immunity because he was negligent in the
performance of his ministerial duties. She also contends that
Okefenokee EMS was not entitled to statutory immunity because
her claims were brought for its failure to render emergency
services rather than for its rendition of emergency services,
and because any services that were rendered were for
remuneration. Upon our review, we affirm the trial
court's grant of summary judgment to Coffey, but reverse
the grant of summary judgment to Okefenokee EMS.
first note that Ortega's brief fails to comply with our
rules in that significant portions of the factual premises in
her appellate brief are not supported by the record other
than to an all-inclusive 100-page record citation,
specifically "R: 57-162." She cites critical facts,
including quotes from various deposition testimony, but
rather than provide specific citations to the record, she
either broadly cites "R: 57-162" or
"Id." This Court is not charged with
culling the record on behalf of a party. Hicks v.
State, 337 Ga.App. 567, 569 (1) (788 S.E.2d 502) (2016).
See Court of Appeals Rule 25 (c) (2). Thus, "[i[f we
have omitted any fact or failed to locate relevant evidence,
the responsibility lies with counsel." In the
Interest of C. T., 286 Ga. App, 186, 186 (1) (648 S.E.2d
2. As to Ortega's substantive claims,
[s]ummary judgment is proper if the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is
entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Summary judgments
enjoy no presumption of correctness on appeal, and an
appellate court must satisfy itself de novo that the
requirements of OCGA § 9-11-56 (c) have been met. In our
de novo review of the grant of a motion for summary judgment,
we must view the evidence, and all reasonable inferences
drawn therefrom, in the light most favorable to the
(Citations and punctuation omitted.) Ga. Farm Bureau Mut.
Ins. Co. v. Claxton, 345 Ga.App. 539, 539 (812 S.E.2d
167) (2018). See OCGA § 9-11-56 (c).
viewed, the evidence demonstrates that on February 22, 2015,
Ortega's husband was driving his Dodge Ram truck on
Harvey Newbern Road in Atkinson County. Ortega's
twelve-year-old son was also in the truck. As the two
traveled down Newbern Road, the husband hit a hole in the
road, and "almost lost control" of his truck, but
he was able to regain control of the truck until he hit a
second hole in the road and "lost control and . . . hit
[a] tree." The police were already on the scene when
Okefenokee EMS responded to the accident, and the fire
department was either on the scene or arrived shortly
thereafter. One of the emergency medical technicians
("EMT") approached the seriously injured husband
who was trapped on the driver's side of the truck, and
another attended to the son who was seated on the passenger
side. According to the son, an EMT asked him whether he was
okay, and the son asked the EMT to check on his unconscious
father but the EMT responded that "we've got to get
you out first." The son testified that an EMT then
instructed him to "jump off the truck," and when
the son said that he could not jump because his leg was
injured, he was told that "that's how you're
going to have to get off." When the son jumped, he heard
a pop and it "really, really hurt," but he
"had to walk" to the stretcher. The son also
testified that the EMTs did not immediately attend to his
father and that they should have "went ahead and worked
on him." The son was aware that the father was trapped
but testified that the EMTs could have "work[ed] on the
trapped door [when] [he] told them [he] was okay." The
father, who was unresponsive but breathing, was removed from
the truck and placed in the ambulance with the son. The
husband stopped breathing while he was in the ambulance, and
the EMTs attempted to resuscitate the husband during the trip
to the hospital, but he died of his injuries.
who assisted the son was deposed and testified that he
removed the son from the truck with the assistance of other
first responders. He testified that the son "was picked
up and brought out of the truck . . . and laid onto a
spineboard, at which time we put the C-collar [on him] . . .
and put the head blocks . . . on him . . . and then we
carried him around to the ambulance." The EMT who
assisted the husband testified that when he arrived at the
accident scene, the father was trapped, breathing but
unresponsive. He testified that despite the husband being
trapped he was able to climb into the vehicle from the
passenger side and place the husband on oxygen.
Grant of Summary Judgment to Appellee Coffey.
granting summary judgment to Coffey, the trial court found
that Ortega failed to establish that Coffey had a ministerial
duty to maintain the roads and had breached that duty. The
trial court further found that any duty Coffey had to
maintain or repair the road was discretionary and that Ortega
thus had to demonstrate that Coffey acted with actual malice
in the performance of his duty, and had not done so. After so
finding, the trial court concluded that "because there
is no evidence that Coffey negligently performed a
ministerial act or acted with actual malice, he is entitled
to official immunity and summary judgment is
appropriate." We agree.
suit against a public official in his or her individual
capacity is barred by official immunity where the public
official has engaged in discretionary acts that are within
the scope of his or her authority, and the official has not
acted in a wilful or wanton manner; with actual malice; or
with the actual intent to cause injury." Brown
v. Penland Constr. Co., 281 Ga. 625, 625-626 (641
S.E.2d 522) (2007). See Ga. Const. of 1983, Art. I, Sec. II,
Par. IX (d). However, the Georgia Constitution "provides
no immunity for ministerial acts negligently performed."
Gilbert v. Richardson, 264 Ga. 744, 753 (6) (452
S.E.2d 476) (1994). "The issue of [Coffey's]
immunity is a question of law[.]"Pearce v.
Tucker, 299 Ga. 224, 227 (787 S.E.2d 749) (2016).
A ministerial act is commonly one that is simple, absolute,
and definite, arising under conditions admitted or proved to
exist, and requiring merely the execution of a specific duty.
A discretionary act, however, calls for the exercise of
personal deliberation and judgment, which in turn entails
examining the facts, reaching reasoned conclusions, and
acting on them in a way not specifically directed.
(Citation and punctuation omitted.) Common Cause/Ga v.
City of Atlanta, 279 Ga. 480, 482 (2) (614 S.E.2d 761)
(2005). Instructions or procedures sufficient "to cause
an act to become merely ministerial must be so clear,
definite and certain as merely to require the execution of a
relatively simple, specific duty." (Punctuation and
footnote omitted.) Barnard v. Turner County, 306
Ga.App. 235, 238 (1) (701 S.E.2d 859) (2010). "A
ministerial duty may be established by evidence such as a
written policy, an unwritten policy, a supervisor's