This case is before this Court for the second time after a trial court has entered an order granting summary judgment for defendants. In our unpublished opinion filed 3 November 1987, we held that the evidence presented to the court evidenced genuine issues of material fact as to the negligence of each defendant in failing to diagnose plaintiff’s condition and remanded the case for trial on this issue. Defendants again moved for and were granted summary judgment on this issue and no trial was ever held. We hold that these proceedings violated our mandate, and reverse.
The general rule is that an inferior court must follow the mandate of an appellate court in a case without variation or departure. D & W Inc. v. City of Charlotte, 268 N.C. 720, 152 S.E.2d 199 (1966). However, an appellate directive remanding a case for trial does not render the Rules of Civil Procedure inapplicable to the further proceedings in the case. Britt v. Allen, 37 N.C. App. 732, 247 S.E.2d 17 (1978). In Britt, we affirmed the entry of an order of summary judgment following a Supreme Court remand for trial de novo. See Britt v. Allen, 291 N.C. 630, 231 S.E.2d 607 (1977). The Supreme Court did not rule, however, on the existence of a genuine issue of material fact, or the sufficiency of the evidence to take the case to a jury. It affirmed the trial court’s discretionary authority to set aside a jury verdict as being contrary to the evidence and order a new trial, and in fact reversed this Court’s holding passing on the sufficiency of this evidence as improper. See Britt v. Allen, 27 N.C. App. 122, 218 S.E.2d 218 (1975). The law of the case doctrine applies only to those questions actually passed on by the appellate court which were necessary to its opinion. See Southland Associates Realtors, Inc. v. Miner, 73 N.C. App. 319, 326 S.E.2d 107 (1985).
In this case, the trial court’s ruling on the existence of a genuine issue of material fact is directly contrary to our earlier holding. While defendants claim that they forecast new evidence, we do not perceive this to be determinative. It is the rule in this State that an additional forecast of evidence does not entitle *101a party to a second chance at summary judgment on the same issues. See Iverson v. TM One, Inc., 92 N.C. App. 161, 374 S.E.2d 160 (1988). Were it otherwise, an “unending series of motions for summary judgment could ensue so long as the moving party presented some additional evidence at the hearing on each successive motion.” Carr v. Great Lakes Carbon Corp., 49 N.C. App. 631, 272 S.E.2d 374 (1980), disc. review denied, 302 N.C. 217, 276 S.E.2d 914 (1981).
Defendants’ contention that this summary judgment motion dealt with new issues is also unavailing. In the amended complaint, plaintiff alleged that defendants were negligent in that “they incorrectly diagnosed the plaintiff’s gallbladder problem during the ‘time period’ as being pancreatitis.” Defendants moved for and were granted summary judgment in part on the grounds that there was no genuine issue as to any material fact and that they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law as to all of plaintiff’s claims. The trial court necessarily had the issue of defendants’ possible negligence in diagnoses before it then, and we reversed its determination. The trial court’s order now before us passes on this same question and is contrary to the decision and mandate of this Court. It is thus reversed.
Plaintiff has also appealed from the trial court’s ruling on his motion pursuant to Rule 60(b) of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Given our disposition of the appeal from the order of summary judgment, we dismiss this appeal as moot.
In case No. 904SC770, the appeal is
In case No. 904SC837, the order of the trial court is
Judge WYNN concurs.
Judge GREENE concurs in the result.