Northland rest home sues for unpaid fees

By Imran Ali -
Bupa Care Services sues son over unpaid fees. Photo / Thinkstock
Bupa Care Services sues son over unpaid fees. Photo / Thinkstock

A Northland rest home has taken the executor of a family trust to court to recover more than $51,000 in unpaid residential care fees.

Bupa Care Services, which runs Kauri Coast Rest Home and Hospital in Dargaville, has filed papers in the High Court at Whangarei to recover $51,759 owed for the care of Gordon John Gillibrand from May 2003 to April 2011, when he died.

Bupa claims the amount was outstanding as at June 4.

Son Christian John Gillibrand, the probate-holder of his father's estate, has been served with court papers.

The rest home also wants the High Court to remove the son as executor of the estate.

In December 2003, John Gillibrand sold all his farm property in Dargaville to trustees of the Gillibrand Family Trust - Christian and Mary Gillibrand and John Parker - for $505,000.

Christian Gillibrand repaid $105,000 prior to his father's death and now claims the deceased forgave the balance.

He is refusing to pay, claiming the rest home caused his father to die in absolutely inhumane and distressing circumstances, and that Bupa forfeited the right to payment of anything because of their wrongdoing.

He also says the trust has no money to settle the debt which he claims was his father's, not his, to pay. He claimed Gordon Gillibrand was placed at a wide open window and the cold air coming through exacerbated his condition; that the rest home failed to monitor him while he was in significant distress; and it failed to take him to the hospital or a healthcare provider.

"In all the circumstances, Bupa seeks reward from the deceased's estate for killing him," Christian Gillibrand said in papers filed in court.

The rest home said the allegations of negligence in home care amounted to imputations of a criminal nature and could not be more serious.

It said all the allegations were unsubstantiated and were strenuously denied.

Christian Gillibrand has denied claims by Bupa that in September 2003 he entered into a residential admission agreement as his father's agent.

He has filed a preliminary application asking the High Court to order Bupa to disclose Gordon Gillibrand's care notes, which is being opposed by the rest home.

Justice Paul Heath will hear the application in the High Court at Whangarei next month.

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