St. Vincent's Nursing Home v. Department of Labor

Decision Date27 June 1969
Docket NumberNo. 8543,8543
Citation169 N.W.2d 456
Parties72 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2208, 61 Lab.Cas. P 52,151 ST. VINCENT'S NURSING HOME, a Nonprofit Corporation, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. The DEPARTMENT OF LABOR of the State of North Dakota and Orville W. Hagen, Commissioner of Labor, Defendants and Appellants. Div.
CourtNorth Dakota Supreme Court

Syllabus by the Court

1. The Labor-Management Relations Act, Chapter 34--12, North Dakota Century Code, was designed to regulate the relationships between management and labor in the State. It provides for certain exemptions from the scope of its coverage, including any corporation or association operating a hospital, if no part of the net earnings inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

2. Generally speaking, a hospital is an institution for the reception and care of sick, wounded, infirm, or aged persons.

3. Legislative intent in the enactment of a law must be determined primarily from the language used in the Act.

4. Where a 'hospital' is exempt from the scope of the Labor-Management Relations Act, which Act does not in any way define or limit the word, a nursing home which for years has been licensed under a law providing for the licensing of hospitals and related medical institutions, which nursing home renders medical and nursing care, which has registered nurses on duty and in which doctors from local clinics consult and treat patients, which cares for and treats the disabled and the crippled as well as the aged and infirm, which has available hospital equipment and medical supplies for its use, and whose net earnings do not inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, is a 'hospital' under the provisions of Section 34--12--01(2), North Dakota Century Code.

Rausch & Chapman, for plaintiff and respondent.

Helgi Johanneson, Atty. Gen., and Jack G. Marcil, Special Asst. Atty. Gen., Bismarck, for defendants and appellants.

STRUTZ, Judge.

The question which confronts us on this appeal is whether St. Vincent's Nursing Home, of Bismarck, comes within the exclusion to the coverage of the North Dakota Labor-Management Relations Act. There is very little dispute as to the facts, the only issue in this case being whether the plaintiff comes under the Act, or whether it comes under the exemptions to its provisions. It is undisputed that St. Vincent's is a nonprofit corporation, and that no part of its net earnings inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

The Labor-Management Relations Act, now Chapter 34--12, North Dakota Century Code, was enacted as Chapter 236 of the 1961 Session Laws. It was an Act designed to regulate the relationships between management and labor in the State. Certain exemptions from the provisions of the Act were provided for, including--

'* * * any corporation or association operating a hospital, if no part of the net earnings inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, * * *.'

The plaintiff in this action contends that it qualifies under this exemption and that it is a 'hospital' within the meaning of that word as used in the Act. The Department of Labor, on the other hand, asserts that St. Vincent's does not come within this exclusion and that the Nursing Home is not a hospital under the scope of this exemption. The record discloses that St. Vincent's has registered nurses on duty and that the doctors from local clinics consult and treat patients in the Home. It cares for and treats the disabled and the crippled, as well as the aged and infirm. It is a member of the North Dakota Hospital Association as well as a member of the Catholic Hospital and Health Service. It has hospital equipment and keeps medical supplies on hand, and it admits persons into the Home on approval of a doctor.

In trying to determine whether St. Vincent's qualifies as a hospital under the exemption provided for in the Act, we must endeavor to discover just what the Legislative Assembly intended to include in the word 'hospital.' As that word is generally used, it refers to an institution for the reception and care of sick, wounded, infirm, or aged persons. 41 C.J.S. Hospitals, § 1, p. 331.

At the time the law was enacted in 1961, there was in effect a statute which provided for the licensing of any facilities for the diagnosis, treatment, or care of two or more nonrelated persons suffering from illness, injury, or deformity, where the care is rendered over a period of more than twenty-four hours. Sec. 23--16--01, N.D.C.C. Under this provision, the State Department of Health has licensed the plaintiff nursing home as a hospital. The defendants assert that this is not material, because the same chapter provides that an appeal may be taken from any order of the State Health Officer or Health Council denying an application to...

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11 cases
  • Layman v. Braunschweigische Maschinenbauanstalt, Inc.
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • December 29, 1983
    ...Bill was defeated the next year. But without the given reason this is not of much value according to St. Vincent's Nursing Home v. Department of Labor, 169 N.W.2d 456 (N.D.1969), which held that an attempted amendment does not indicate legislative intent of statutes sought to be amended. A ......
  • Herman v. Magnuson
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • March 22, 1979
    ...The action by the 1977 Legislature is not indicative of the intent of the 1975 Legislature. 9 See, e. g., St. Vincent's Nursing Home v. Department of Labor, 169 N.W.2d 456 (N.D.1969). We are impressed by the fact that Chapter 295, S.L.1975, was an obvious legislative response to the invitat......
  • City of Minot v. Central Ave. News, Inc.
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • July 17, 1981
    ...zoning authority in these instances; rather, we view it as a clarification of that authority. See, e. g., St. Vincent's Nursing Home v. Department of Labor, 169 N.W.2d 456 (N.D.1969).16 The portion of Section 42-01-01 relied upon by Minot to support this contention states:"Nuisance Definiti......
  • Van Klootwyk v. BAPTIST HOME, INC
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • July 16, 2003
    ...intent. [¶ 26] GERALD W. VANDE WALLE, C.J., DALE V. SANDSTROM, MARY MUEHLEN MARING, JJ., concur. 1. In St. Vincent's Nursing Home v. Department of Labor, 169 N.W.2d 456, 458 (N.D.1969), this Court held a nursing home qualified as a "hospital" for purposes of the exemption provisions of the ......
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