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Wife Responsible For Husband's Nursing Home Care Under Doctrine of Necessaries

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A Massachusetts trial court rules that a wife is legally responsible for the cost of her husband's nursing home care under the doctrine of necessaries. Emerson Village, LLC. v. Jode (Mass. Sup. Ct., Middlesex, No. 12-CV-1736-F, December 15, 2012).

Milfranciu Jode entered a nursing home. His wife, Prusta, applied for Medicaid on his behalf, but he was rejected three times due to the failure to provide backup documentation. Mr. Jode died leaving the nursing home unpaid.

After Mr. Jode's death, the nursing home sued Mrs. Jode, arguing that she was legally responsible for the cost of her husband's care under the doctrine of necessaries. Under state law, a spouse is responsible for debts incurred by the other spouse for "necessaries."

The Massachusetts Superior Court rules for the nursing home, finding that the definition of necessaries encompasses the care provided by the nursing home. he court reserves the question of "exactly what services constituted necessaries and the valuation of those services" to be determined by a jury after trial.

For the full text of this decision, click here.

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