We are excited to announce that Attorney Rosenberg has been selected to present a paper in the CT NAELA Practice Update based on his appeals court victory in Harborside Conn. Ltd. Partnership v. Witte earlier this year. Practice Update is the official journal for our state’s chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the nations preeminent education and advocacy source for the practice of elder law.
In the Harborside case, the nation’s largest nursing home chain sued the widow of a former resident for her husband’s outstanding bill. Since neither of them had signed a contract, the nursing home claimed they were entitled to collect the debt directly from the widow because she had managed the family finances, paid the bills, and received insurance checks in the past. When this claim was thrown out of court without a trial, the nursing home appealed. In a split decision, the Appeals Court upheld the dismissal of the suit, siding with the brief of Attorney Rosenberg and lead appeal counsel Miguel Almodóvar. The court ruled that the nursing home only had a debt with the decedent, and could only recover it by filing a claim with his probate estate. Because this decision comes from the appellate court, other judges may now be required to throw out similar lawsuits in the future.
Ordinarily, spouses are jointly responsible for their housing and necessary medical expenses, but both state and federal laws require a spouse to volunteer through a written document in the case of nursing home care.