Owings v. Gullett

CourtAlabama Court of Civil Appeals
Writing for the CourtEDWARD N. SCRUGGS
Citation437 So.2d 1050
PartiesJon M. OWINGS v. Walter R. GULLETT, Jr. Civ. 3772.
Decision Date24 August 1983

Page 1050

437 So.2d 1050
Walter R. GULLETT, Jr.
Civ. 3772.
Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama.
Aug. 24, 1983.

Edward W. Doggett, Florence, for appellant.

Michael F. Ford of Martin & Ford, Tuscumbia, for appellee.

EDWARD N. SCRUGGS, Retired Circuit Judge.

This is an account stated case.

Dr. Owings' amended complaint against Mr. Gullett was for an account stated and for a simple account.

Mr. Gullett moved for a summary judgment and his affidavit in support thereof was that he was attended by Dr. Owings while being hospitalized in February 1978, that he was completely dissatisfied with Dr. Owings' services, that his condition worsened while under Dr. Owings' care, and that he was transferred to a Birmingham hospital for further treatment. The remainder of his affidavit was as follows:

"Dr. Owings was unable to diagnose my condition or to explain the reason my condition worsened while I was under his care. For this reason, I felt then and feel now that the services rendered to me by Dr. Owings were valueless.

"After my 21 February to 1 March 1978 hospitalization, I received a statement

Page 1051

from Dr. Owings. I responded to the statement with a letter, explaining that I thought his services were unsatisfactory and disputing his bill. A copy of this letter is attached hereto, labeled Exhibit 'A', and made a part of this testimony.

"Since March 1978, it has been my continuous position that I am not indebted to Dr. Owings. I have never agreed to pay his statement and I deny that I owe him any money at all. I have signed no contract or other writing agreeing to pay Dr. Owings the statement.

"More than four (4) years have passed since Dr. Owings sent me this statement and I contend that the Statute of Limitations on his claim has expired and his suit against me ought to be dismissed."

The letter attached as exhibit "A" was dated July 6, 1978. It disputed and denied owing the doctor's bill because of the patient's opinion that the services rendered by the physician were most unsatisfactory and not beneficial to his health and well-being, giving therein his argument, thoughts, and reasons for his opinion.

Dr. Owings' counteraffidavit stated that, according to normal procedures, Mr. Gullett would have received a statement from him within thirty days from the date of Mr. Gullett's last treatment by him. The office records of Dr. Owings, which are kept in the ordinary course of his business and which are under his control and supervision, disclose that Mr. Gullett called the physician's office on April 12, 1978 and indicated that he would bring "an insurance form to pay his bill when he obtained the form from his insurance company." The doctor further swore that he "never received the letter dated July 6, 1978, which Mr. Gullett contends he sent to my office." After attempting to collect by other methods and means and through other sources, Dr. Owings sent a new bill and demand for payment on March 2, 1982 to Mr. Gullett, who contacted the doctor's office about a week later and indicated that he would pay it when he "got good and ready to."

The trial court granted Mr. Gullett's motion for a summary judgment and entered a judgment in his favor. Dr. Owings appeals and contends that a scintilla of evidence prevented the rendition of the judgment against him.

It is without controversy that the open account claim was barred by the three year statute of limitations and no contra argument is presented to us. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court in granting the motion for a summary judgment in Mr. Gullett's favor as to the open account aspect of the case is affirmed.

Much of the law governing summary judgments was recently aptly summarized in a succinct manner by Chief Justice Torbert in Missildine v. Avondale Mills, Inc., 415 So.2d 1040 (Ala.1981), as follows:

"A party moving for summary judgment has the burden of clearly showing that the non-moving party cannot recover under any discernible set of...

To continue reading

Request your trial
5 cases
  • NTA Graphics S., Inc. v. Axiom Impressions, LLC, Case No.: 2:16-cv-01158-SGC
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Alabama
    • September 3, 2019
    ...objection constituted implied admission to correctness of, and liability for, bill was question for jury); Owings v. Gullett , 437 So. 2d 1050, 1052-53 (Ala. Civ. App. 1983) (holding plaintiff's denial he received defendant's letter objecting to bill and plaintiff's failure to affirm he pre......
  • Ex Parte the Salvation Army.(in Re Roy Williams v. First Choice Pers. Llc
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • February 18, 2011
    ...See also 5 Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure, Civil, § 1274.”381 So.2d at 193. Similarly, in Owings v. Gullett, 437 So.2d 1050, 1053 (Ala.Civ.App.1983), this court concluded that a succinct assertion of the affirmative defense of the statute of limitations complies with Rule 8......
  • Keelon v. K-Mart, K-MART
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • November 27, 1985
    ...1103 (Ala.Civ.App.1984). See also Watkins v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., 376 So.2d 660, 662 (Ala.1979); Owings v. Gullett, 437 So.2d 1050, 1052 (Ala.Civ.App.1983). To establish a prima facie case of liability under the AEMLD, a plaintiff must show that he "suffered injury or dam......
  • Wyatt v. Bradford & Co., P.C.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • September 5, 1984
    ...correctness of the account. Home Federal Savings & Loan Association v. Williams, 276 Ala. 37, 158 So.2d 678 (1963)." Owings v. Gullett, 437 So.2d 1050 (Ala.Civ.App.1983). In the case at bar, the facts are in dispute as to whether Wyatt initially acquiesced or objected to the bill and whethe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT