Justia Banking Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Personal Injury
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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the operative amended complaints in two actions seeking to hold defendant bank liable under the Antiterrorism Act of 1990 (ATA), for providing banking services to a charitable organization with alleged ties to Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) alleged to have committed a series of terrorist attacks in Israel in 2001-2004. The actions also seek to deny leave to amend the complaints to allege aiding-and-abetting claims under the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA).The court concluded that 18 U.S.C. 2333(a) principles announced in Linde v. Arab Bank, PLC, 882 F.3d 314 (2d Cir. 2018), were properly applied here. The court explained that, in order to establish NatWest's liability under the ATA as a principal, plaintiffs were required to present evidence sufficient to support all of section 2331(1)'s definitional requirements for an act of international terrorism. The court saw no error in the district court's conclusion that plaintiffs failed to proffer such evidence and thus NatWest was entitled to summary judgment dismissing those claims. The court also concluded that the district court appropriately assessed plaintiffs' request to add JASTA claims, given the undisputed evidence adduced, in connection with the summary judgment motions, as to the state of NatWest's knowledge. Therefore, based on the record, the district court did not err in denying leave to amend the complaints as futile on the ground that plaintiffs could not show that NatWest was knowingly providing substantial assistance to Hamas, or that NatWest was generally aware that it was playing a role in Hamas's acts of terrorism. The court dismissed the cross-appeal as moot. View "Weiss v. National Westminster Bank PLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the order of the district court dismissing Plaintiff’s amended complaint against several lenders, holding that the district court did not err in dismissing some of Plaintiff’s claims but erred in dismissing the remaining claims.After Plaintiff defaulted on her loan on real property, she received at least nine notices of sale. Plaintiff filed an amended complaint against Lenders, alleging six causes of action. The district court granted Lenders’ motion to dismiss the amended complaint pursuant to Mont. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). The Supreme Court held that the district court (1) did not err in dismissing Plaintiff’s declaratory judgment claim as a matter of law or in dismissing Plaintiff’s negligent and/or intentional infliction of emotional distress claim fore failure to state sufficient facts to entitle her to relief; and (2) incorrectly determined that Plaintiff’s amended complaint failed to state a claim on her asserted breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and Montana Consumer Protection Act (MCPA) claims. View "Puryer v. HSBC Bank" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the order of the district court dismissing Plaintiff’s amended complaint against several lenders, holding that the district court did not err in dismissing some of Plaintiff’s claims but erred in dismissing the remaining claims.After Plaintiff defaulted on her loan on real property, she received at least nine notices of sale. Plaintiff filed an amended complaint against Lenders, alleging six causes of action. The district court granted Lenders’ motion to dismiss the amended complaint pursuant to Mont. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). The Supreme Court held that the district court (1) did not err in dismissing Plaintiff’s declaratory judgment claim as a matter of law or in dismissing Plaintiff’s negligent and/or intentional infliction of emotional distress claim fore failure to state sufficient facts to entitle her to relief; and (2) incorrectly determined that Plaintiff’s amended complaint failed to state a claim on her asserted breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and Montana Consumer Protection Act (MCPA) claims. View "Puryer v. HSBC Bank" on Justia Law

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In this case brought in connection with the sale of Plaintiffs’ home at a foreclosure sale, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiffs’ asserted negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and Montana Consumer Protection Act (MCPA) claims against Bank of America, N.A. and ReconTrust Company, N.A. pursuant to Mont. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) for failure to sufficiently state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The court held (1) the district court correctly held that Plaintiffs’ amended complaint failed to state sufficient facts entitling them to relief on all essential elements of their asserted negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and MCPA claims; and (2) the district court did not err by not sua sponte converting ReconTrusts’s Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Mont. R. Civ. P. 12(d) upon the filing of an affidavit in support of Plaintiffs’ brief in opposition. View "Anderson v. ReconTrust Co., N.A." on Justia Law

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At issue was whether the City of Fairmont, which entered into a lease purchase agreement for equipment with Comvest, Ltd., may assert claims and defenses against Blue Ridge Bank - to whom Comvest assigned its interest in the lease purchase agreement, including its right to the City’s monthly payments - based on Comvest’s conversion of funds designated for the purchase of the equipment. The Supreme Court held (1) the Bank took its assignment subject to the City’s claims and defenses arising from Comvest’s breach of the lease purchase agreement; and (2) therefore, the City may assert claims and defenses against the Bank based on Comvest’s conversion. View "Blue Ridge Bank, Inc. v. City of Fairmont" on Justia Law

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Homeowners obtained loans from Bank for the construction of a new home and entered into an agreement with Contractor to complete the new home construction. When Homeowners defaulted on payments owed to Contractor and on both loans, the house was sold at foreclosure, and Homeowners filed for bankruptcy. Contractor filed a fourth amended complaint against Homeowners, who were later dismissed as parties, and Bank. Following a trial the court granted summary judgment for Bank on Contractor’s claims of fraud and civil conspiracy. The Supreme Court reversed. After remand, Contractor filed a fifth amended complaint, which differed from the fourth amended complaint in several respects. The district court determined that the election of remedies doctrine and judicial estoppel required a dismissal of Contractor’s claims. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Contractor’s claims were consistently premised on the existence of a contract, and therefore, no election was required; and (2) Contractor’s claims were based on different facts and obligations, and therefore, both could be pursued. View "deNourie & Yost Homes, LLC v. Frost" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs sued Defendants in a New York state court for concealing ill-gotten money from a scheme orchestrated by three of Plaintiff’s employees. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. Supreme Court granted the motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The Appellate Division affirmed, concluding that Defendants did not purposefully avail themselves of the privilege of conducting activities in New York. Plaintiffs appealed, alleging that the defendant-bank’s repeated use of New York correspondent accounts to receive and transfer millions of dollars in illicit funds constituted the transaction of business substantially related to their claims against Defendants sufficient to confer personal jurisdiction. Defendants argued in response that personal jurisdiction cannot depend on third party conduct and requires purposeful availment by Defendants that was lacking in this case. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Defendants’ use of the correspondent bank accounts was purposeful, that there was an articulable nexus between the business transaction and the claim asserted, and that the maintenance of suit in New York does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. View "Rushaid v. Pictet & Cie" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appeals the district court’s denial of his motion for reconsideration of its earlier order denying on futility grounds plaintiff's motion for leave to amend his complaint. Plaintiff asserted in his motion that he had developed facts in discovery which showed that (1) a Bank employee knew that Charles Gordon, the chief executive officer of OPT Title and Escrow, Inc., had assisted Gordon in opening a bank account called an “escrow account” into which funds were to be wired by third parties with the expectation that the funds would be held in escrow by OPT Title; (2) the Bank employee knew that Gordon was stealing from the account; (3) the Bank employee assisted Gordon in committing the fraud; and (4) the Bank received at least a short-term financial benefit from allowing Gordon to use OPT Title’s account as a vehicle for his fraud. The court held that the district court erred in denying plaintiff's motion for reconsideration on the basis that even considering his new allegations set forth in his motion for reconsideration, he failed to state claims for relief. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Hsi Chang v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff-school opened a bank account for its operating fund with Defendant-bank. One of Plaintiff’s employees later opened a bank account with Defendant that Plaintiff had not authorized and deposited into that account several hundred checks originating from, or intended to be deposited into, Plaintiff’s bank account with Defendant. Over the course of approximately four years, the employee deposited $832,776 into this bank account and withdrew funds just short of that amount. Defendant refused Plaintiff’s demand to return the funds that the employee had funneled through this account to himself. Thereafter, Plaintiff commenced this action, alleging breach of contract, violations of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), negligence, and common law conversion. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of Plaintiff on each of the counts and awarded $832,776 in total compensatory damages. The Supreme Court affirmed in all respects with the exception of the damages award, holding that some of Plaintiff’s claims under the UCC were time barred and that the trial court did not otherwise err in its judgment. Remanded with direction to reduce the award by $5,156 and to proportionately reduce prejudgment interest, .View "Saint Bernard Sch. of Montville, Inc. v. Bank of Am. " on Justia Law

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In 2007 Rufini purchased his Sonoma residence with a $600,000 loan. Rufini and his fiancée lived in the home until they separated. In June 2009, CitiMortgage approved Rufini for a loan modification and told him he would receive a permanent modification after making timely trial payments of $2787.93 in July, August and September. Rufini timely made the payments at the modified rate through December. In January, 2010, CitiMortgage informed him that his permanent loan modification agreement would be ready in three days. Three months later, with still no written agreement, he rented out his house to offset expenses In August Rufini learned that Citibank was denying his loan modification, because the home was not owner-occupied. He attempted to make timely mortgage payments at the modified level, but CitiMortgage returned his checks. Rufini received a notice of default in September 2010, followed by a notice of trustee’s sale scheduled for January 2011. He contacted CitiMortgage and obtained its agreement to delay the foreclosure. CitiMortgage assigned Semien to Rufini’s account, but Rufini was unable to contact him on the phone for three and a half weeks. On April 11 Rufini was informed his modification was “in final state of completion.” On May 4, his house was sold at auction. The trial court dismissed Rufini’s complaint alleging “breach of contract—promissory estoppel,” breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unfair business practices, negligence, and negligent misrepresentation. The appeals court reversed and remanded the claims of negligent representation and under Business and Professions Code section 17200, the unfair competition law. View "Rufini v. CitiMortgage" on Justia Law