P. J., McFADDEN, P.J. and COOMER, J.
McFadden, Presiding Judge.
case arises out of the termination of a member of a medical
practice. That former member, the plaintiff below, challenges
the grant of summary judgment to two of the remaining
members, defendants below, on his breach of fiduciary duty
claims. Because there are no genuine issues of material fact,
we affirm. Also before us are challenges to the dismissal of
breach of fiduciary duty claims as to two other members. But
because the complaint failed to state a claim upon which
relief could be granted as to those defendants, we also
affirm those dismissals.
Facts and procedural posture.
January 2013, doctors J. Dewayne Colquitt and Kevin McGill
founded Buckhead Surgical Associates, LLC ("BSA"),
a medical practice, and Buckhead Surgery Center, LLC
("BSC"), the practice's surgery center. Three
other doctors, Lee Skandalakis, Charles Procter, and C.
Daniel Smith, subsequently joined the practice as members of
BSA and BSC. Colquitt was the first managing member of the
April 2015, Colquitt was removed by the other members as
managing member, and Skandalakis and Smith were appointed as
co-managing members. On May 18, 2015, in a letter sent by his
attorney, Colquitt notified the other members that he wanted
to leave the practice and proposed buyout terms. On May 22,
2015, the other members voted to terminate Colquitt's
employment both for cause, finding 17 grounds for
termination, and alternatively, without cause. That same day,
the members notified Colquitt by letter that he was
immediately terminated for cause, that he was no longer
permitted access to the practice's premises or computer
system, and that the practice would provide medical care to
patients previously treated by him if they did not request
that their care be transferred to Colquitt.
April 2016, Colquitt filed a complaint against BSA, BSC,
Smith, Skandalakis, McGill, and Procter, which he amended
three months later in July 2016. In the complaint and amended
complaint, Colquitt asserted claims for breach of fiduciary
duty, breach of contract, punitive damages, and attorney
fees. In August 2016, the trial court entered an order that,
among other things, dismissed all claims against McGill. In
January 2017, the trial court entered an order that dismissed
all claims against Procter. In September 2017, Colquitt filed
a second amended complaint, naming only BSA, BSC, Smith, and
Skandalakis as defendants. In December 2017, the trial court
entered an order granting summary judgment to Smith and
Skandalakis as to the breach of fiduciary duty claims.
Summary judgment in favor of Smith and Skandalakis.
challenges the trial court's grant of summary judgment to
Smith and Skandalakis on the breach of fiduciary duty claims.
The challenges are without merit.
To prevail on a motion for summary judgment, the moving party
must show that there is no genuine dispute as to a specific
material fact and that this specific fact is enough,
regardless of any other facts in the case, to entitle the
moving party to judgment as a matter of law. When a defendant
moves for summary judgment as to an element of the case for
which the plaintiff, and not the defendant, will bear the
burden of proof at trial the defendant may show that he is
entitled to summary judgment either by affirmatively
disproving that element of the case or by pointing to an
absence of evidence in the record by which the plaintiff
might carry the burden to prove that element. And if the
defendant does so, the plaintiff cannot rest on his
pleadings, but rather must point to specific evidence giving
rise to a triable issue. We review a summary judgment ruling
de novo, viewing the evidence in the record, as well as any
inferences that might reasonably be drawn from that evidence,
in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.
Miller v. FiberLight, LLC, 343 Ga.App. 593, 593-594
(1) (808 S.E.2d 75) (2017) (citations and punctuation
case, Smith and Skandalakis have shown that there is an
absence of evidence as to the breach element of
Colquitt's claims for breach of fiduciary duties. See
Sewell v. Cancel, 331 Ga.App. 687, 689 (2) (771
S.E.2d 388) (2015) ("A claim for breach of fiduciary
duty requires proof of three elements: (1) the existence of a
fiduciary duty; (2) breach of that duty; and (3) damage
proximately caused by the breach.") (citation and
claims that Smith and Skandalakis, as managing members,
breached their fiduciary duties to him when they terminated
his employment for cause. "Under OCGA § 14-11-305
(1), the managing members of a limited liability company owe
fiduciary duties to the company and its member
investors." Practice Benefits ...