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Cory Harbinson

Yale Diagnostic Radiology v. Estate of Harun Fountain et al.

Facts

In March, 1996, Harun Fountain was shot in the back of the head at point blank range by a playmate. As a result of his injuries, including losing his right eye, Fountain required extensive lifesaving medical services from a variety of medical services providers, including the plaintiff, Yale Diagnostic Radiology. The expenses of the services rendered by the plaintiff to Fountain totaled $17,694.The plaintiff billed Tucker because she is the mother of Fountain. Tucker was unwilling and unable to pay the plaintiff for the services. As a result, Fountain now becomes secondarily liable based on an implied in law contract, sometimes referred to as a quasi contract.

Issue

Is a medical service provider that has provided emergency medical services to a minor may collect for those services from the minor when the minor’s parents refuse or unable to make payment?

Holding

Yes, under Connecticut law minors are liable for payment for their “necessaries,” even though the provider of those necessaries relies on the parents’ credit for payment.

Reason

Under such circumstances a medical services provider cannot stop to consider how the bill will be paid or by whom. Fountain, having received the benefit of the necessary services should be liable for payment. Statute 46b-37(b) (2) says the parent’s failure to pay renders the minor secondarily liable. The defendants claimed that the trial court improperly determined that a minor may be liable for payment for emergency medical services rendered to him. A minor’s contract is voidable with the exception of the doctrine of necessaries which states that a minor may not avoid a contract for good or services necessary for his health and sustenance.

Affirmed
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