Holiday Hospital Ass'n v. Schwarz

Decision Date17 July 1964
Docket NumberNo. 3984,3984
Citation166 So.2d 493
PartiesHOLIDAY HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION, a Florida Corporation, not for profit, Appellant, v. Albert SCHWARZ and Evie Schwarz, husband and wife, Appellees.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Robert W. Olsen, Orlando, for appellant.

Albert P. Schwarz, of Sanders, McEwan, Schwarz & Mims, Orlando, for appellees.

HODGES, JOHN G., Associate Judge.

The appellant, a nonprofit hospital, as plaintiff, sued the appellee, Albert Schwarz, and his wife, Evie, as defendants, in the Circuit Court in and for Orange County to recover hospital and medical expenses rendered to the wife after she had attempted suicide. Summary final judgment, the subject of this appeal, was entered by the lower court for the plaintiff hospital against the defendant wife and for the defendant husband and against the plaintiff hospital. Shortly thereafter, the wife succeeded in destroying herself.

Other introductory facts involved in the case are that Albert Schwarz and his wife, Evie, had been married only a short while when they separated on May 5, 1962, at which time the wife was apparently suffering from physical, as well as mental, impairment. On May 7, 1962, divorce proceedings were instituted in the Circuit Court in and for Seminole County by Albert Schwarz against Evie Schwarz. On May 29, 1962, an order, pendente lite, was entered by the chancellor of that court directing the husband to pay the wife temporary alimony. This order remained in effect until the final decree of divorce was entered in the cause. On November 20, 1962, the parties entered a settlement agreement under which the husband paid the wife the sum of $1,350.00.

Shortly after the court's order awarding temporary alimony, the wife was admitted to the appellant hospital where she received treatment declared to be necessary by her admitting and treating physicians. None of the hospital and medical charges, totalling $4,570.85, sought in the suit below, has been paid by either the husband or wife. The husband, Albert Schwarz, has refused to pay, relying upon the temporary order entered by the chancellor in the divorce proceedings and the property settlement hereinabove described.

According to sworn statements of Albert Schwarz and one Donald D. Straub, a police officer, Evie Schwarz's attempted suicide, necessitating the hospital charges, was because of an abortive love affair with a man other than her husband.

The summary final judgment, wherein all material undisputed facts were recited, reads, in pertinent part, as follows:

'After due notice this cause came on for final hearing upon the motion for summary final judgment for the Plaintiff and on a motion for summary final judgment for the Defendant, Albert Schwarz. These parties agree, and it apparently is true, that there is no dispute as to any material fact and that one or the other parties are entitled to a summary final judgment on the law.

'It is clear that Albert Schwarz and Evie Schwarz were husband and wife during the period of time when the wife, Evie Schwarz was in the hospital of the Plaintiff corporation. It is further clear that prior to the time she was admitted to their hospital, the parties were living separate and apart and there was a divorce proceeding pending. It is also undisputed that prior to the hospitalization the Court had entered an order requiring the husband, Albert Schwarz, to pay temporary alimony to the wife, Evie Schwarz. By his affidavit, Albert Schwarz has stated that he separated from Evie Schwarz because of the marital misconduct of Evie Schwarz. This is not contradicted by any opposing affidavit and I therefore accept that fact to be true.

'The evidence further indicated that most, if not all, of the hospitalization of Evie Schwarz was a result of a suicide attempt made by her on her life and apparently because of some frustration that she had suffered in connection with an association with a man other than her husband.

'From a study of the authorities, it is generally held that a husband is not liable for the necessities of the wife when there is an outstanding order decreeing temporary alimony payment and which he is fulfilling. Also the authorities seem to state that when the wife is living apart from the husband because of her misconduct the husband is not responsible for the necessities of the wife. Medical expenses have been held to be necessities. The question is raised and urged by the Plaintiff that medical expenses are excepted from the above rules. This may be true in some circumstances for some type of medical treatments. I rule however, that the circumstances of this hospitalization and this particular hospital bill does not come within any exception if one exists.

'Because he was paying temporary alimony pursuant to order of the Court and because the parties were separated through the misconduct of the Defendant Evie Schwarz, it is my finding that the Defendant, Albert Schwarz, is entitled to a summary judgment as a matter of law against the Plaintiff and judgment is hereby entered for said Defendant Albert Schwarz against the Holiday Hospital Association, a Florida Corporation, and the parties go hence without day on the claim of the Plaintiff against the Defendant Albert P. Schwarz.

'On the other hand, insofar as the claim of the Plaintiff Corporation against Evie Schwarz is concerned, there is no dispute that the services were incurred by her, the charges were reasonable. Judgment is therefore entered for the Plaintiff, Holiday Hospital Association, a Florida Corporation, against Evie Schwarz in the amount of $4,570.85, plus costs to be taxed upon the filing of an appropriate cost bill by the Plaintiff against the Defendant Evie Schwarz.'

The parties have presented several proposed forms of questions for consideration on this appeal. We believe that the controlling question, which apparently makes its initial appearance before the appellate courts of Florida, may be stated as follows:


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4 cases
  • Beers v. Public Health Trust of Dade County, 84-780
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • March 12, 1985
    ...166 (Fla. 3d DCA 1981); Manatee Convalescent Center, Inc. v. McDonald, 392 So.2d 1356 (Fla. 2d DCA 1980); Holiday Hospital Association v. Schwarz, 166 So.2d 493 (Fla. 2d DCA 1964). This liability arises where the husband has a duty to furnish the necessaries to his wife and he fails in this......
  • Bartrom v. Adjustment Bureau, Inc.
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • October 20, 1992
    ...considered suspended. She supports her premise with Cole v. Adams (1982), 56 N.C.App. 714, 289 S.E.2d 918 and Holiday Hospital Assoc. v. Schwarz (1964), Fla.App., 166 So.2d 493, cases which held husbands liable for the debts of their wives when the wives left the husbands due to their misco......
  • Manatee Convalescent Center, Inc. v. McDonald
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • December 31, 1980
    ...fall clearly within that category of obligations. Correll v. Elkins, 195 So.2d 27 (Fla. 1st DCA 1967); Holiday Hospital Association v. Schwarz, 166 So.2d 493 (Fla. 2d DCA 1964). Historically, courts were never called upon to consider a converse application of the doctrine where the wife was......
  • Luther Hospital v. Garborg, 529
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • February 23, 1976
    ...of the wife in the form of temporary alimony, discharges the husband's common law obligation of support. Holiday Hospital Association v. Schwarz (1964) (Fla.App.), 166 So.2d 493. The question in this case is whether the order of the family court commissioner was intended as an award of supp......

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