Quimbee logo with url
From our private database of 14,500+ case briefs...

North Carolina Baptist Hospitals, Inc. v. Harris

Supreme Court of North Carolina
354 S.E.2d 471 (1987)


Donnie Harris (defendant) was admitted to a hospital owned by North Carolina Baptist Hospitals, Inc. (plaintiff) for necessary medical treatment. Before Donnie could be treated, the hospital provided Donnie's wife, Vern Dell Harris (defendant), a form to sign, which authorized Donnie's treatment. Vern Dell signed Donnie's name, and under it signed, “by Vern Dell Harris.” However, Vern Dell did not sign as the guarantor. The hospital charged $3,303.61 for the services provided to Donnie. Neither Donnie nor Vern Dell paid the bill. The hospital sued Donnie and Vern Dell, arguing that Vern Dell was also liable for payment under the necessaries doctrine, which is a common-law doctrine providing that one spouse is liable for the necessary expenses of the other spouse. The trial court dismissed the hospital's action against Vern Dell, and the court of appeals affirmed the trial court's ruling. The hospital appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Meyer, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 270,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,500 briefs, keyed to 195 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.