Forsyth Memorial Hospital v. Chisholm

467 S.E.2d 88 (N.C. 1996)


W and Melvin Chisholm were married in June of 1953. They were separated in January of 1990. W then moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and has been a continuous resident of Forsyth County since that time. Melvin remained in Boone and continued to be a resident of Watauga County until his death on 14 August 1992. On 31 July 1992, Melvin was carried to P and admitted by W. It is uncontroverted that at the time Melvin and W were married, that she admitted him, and that insurance information obtained from a previous admission was still applicable. P rendered medical services until his death on 14 August 1992, which resulted in unpaid medical bills of $45,110.07. P attempted to obtain payment from Melvin's insurance company. P learned that the insurance company had sent a check to Melvin's estate, but the estate had been administered and closed without payment having been made to P. P sued W under the doctrine of necessaries. W denied liability on the ground that at the time the bills were incurred, she and Melvin were married but living separate and apart. The trial court granted summary judgment to W, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court.