Borelli v. Brusseau

California Court of Appeal

16 Cal. Rptr.2d 16 (Cal. Ct. App. 1993)

A husband and wife’s mutual obligations to provide care under their marriage contract voids any agreement to provide nursing care to an ill spouse in exchange for compensation, as a matter of public policy and state law.

Relevant Facts

Hildegard Borelli (the plaintiff) and Michael Borelli were married for 9 years. During their marriage, Michael was admitted to the hospital on several occasions because of heart problems. As a result, Michael became concerned about his health and longevity and discussed this with Hildegard. After suffering from a stroke, Michael required full-time medical care. However, Michael did not want to be put in a nursing home. As a result, Michael agreed to leave some of his real and personal property to Hildegard upon his death in exchange for her agreement to care for him at home. Hildegard took care of Michael until his death. However, Hildegard soon discovered that Michael left the bulk of what he promised her to his daughter, Grace Brusseau (the defendant). Hildegard filed a petition against the defendant, the executor of Michael’s estate, to enforce the agreement between her and Michael. The defendant moved to dismiss the petition on the ground that any alleged contract lacked consideration and void as a matter of public policy. The trial court agreed and dismissed the plaintiff’s petition. The plaintiff appealed.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 3, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

16 Cal. Rptr.2d 16 (Cal. Ct. App. 1993)