Please explain NC G.S. 52-5


Dear Perplexedex:

Greetings. This is outside of the area of law that we practice. We only work in the area of divorce - but I would suggest that you speak with a personal injury attorney. If he has no money now, it is doubtful that you will be able to receive a recovery from him, which means that you will likely pay a lot for an attorney and not receive anything in return. Hope you and your child find your way to good health soon.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


My husband of less than 3 years inflicted such severe emotional distress that I have had to spend many thousands of dollars getting myself and my teenage daughter treated for symptoms of traumatic stress. I have lots of medical evidence including tests showing the damage to my endocrine glands and nervous system. I also suffered serious financial damages resulting from lost earnings, both because I lost my job due to the stress (I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown and basically couldn’t function for months) and my career was pretty much sidelined. He also caused financial loss due to being stingy and making me pay for household necessities (he’s a doctor who made over $150000 last year while I made about $50000 - my taxable income was $20000, mostly because of medical bills). That’s because he had serious drug and alcohol problems. And of course I have borne all of the costs of having to establish a new household on my own.
Another thing he did was refuse to allow me to hire someone to help me remove loose paint from a paneled hallway in our 1951 house. To show his resentment (that I wanted to spend HIS cocaine money on something he cared nothing about) he got someone to take a power sander and sand the walls, covering the whole area with white lead paint dust. I now have to have 22 chelation treatments to remove the lead (costing around $2,500) and my daughter will probably have to have the same. No wonder I couldn’t perform my job!

Could CPS possibly do anything to help? I can’t afford chelation treatments for both of us.

Now the attorneys I consult with say the divorce laws don’t really cover “personal injury” type situations, it’s just “equitable distribution” in my favor. Well, all his assets are gone so there’s nothing to distribute - he had his medical license suspended and is living with his mom. But assuming he makes money in the future, is there any way this law can help me?

It says (I got this from another website):

52-5. Torts between husband and wife

A husband and wife have a cause of action against each other to recover damages sustained to their person or property as if they were unmarried.

Thank you.