Nursing Home Entitled to Judgment Against Resident’s Daughter Who Agreed to Be Personally Liable in Admission Agreement

Rhode Island’s highest court grants summary judgment to a nursing home in a case against a resident’s daughter who agreed to be personally liable for the resident’s care in the admission agreement. Saint Elizabeth Home v. Gorham (R.I., No. 2021-27-Appeal, Jan. 13, 2022)

When Rebecca Gorham’s mother, Mary Moore, entered a nursing home, Ms. Gorham signed the admission agreement as Ms. Moore’s representative. Ms. Gorham agreed to be personally liable for any amount Ms. Moore owed the facility. After Ms. Moore ran out of funds, she applied for Medicaid, but Medicaid ended up paying only half of her outstanding bill.

The nursing home sued Ms. Gorham for breaching the agreement by failing to pay for Moore’s care. Ms. Gorham argued that the nursing home should have assisted her with the Medicaid application process. The trial court granted the nursing home summary judgment, and Ms. Gorham appealed.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court affirms, holding that the nursing home is entitled to summary judgment. The court finds that “it is uncontested that [Ms. Gorham] entered into the agreement and thereby bound herself to be personally liable for the costs of any services rendered by” the nursing home to Ms. Moore. In addition, the court rules that the “the terms of the agreement do not support [Ms. Gorham’s contention that [the nursing home] was obligated, in any way whatsoever, to act or assist with the Medicaid application process.”

For the full text of this decision, go to:

Did you know that the ElderLawAnswers database now contains summaries of more than 2,000 fully searchable elder law decisions dating back to 1993? To search the database, click here.