Tuesday, July 15, 2014
When a grandmother and her son wanted to open multiple bank accounts, they added the granddaughter to the accounts to help manage them. The granddaughter happened to be an employee of the bank. After the son died, the grandmother went to the bank to move the funds totaling over a million dollars into an account under the grandmother’s name alone. Instead of freezing the account to resolve the issue, as the bank told the grandmother would happen, the bank called the granddaughter who with the help of a bank teller transferred approximately half of the funds into her own account. The grandmother sued, and the bank settled with the grandmother and then went after the granddaughter.
In Columbia Bank v. Turbeville, a Florida appeals court reversed the trials court dismissal of the banks' claims against the granddaughter. The court held that the bank could bring claims of equitable subrogation, conversion, and breach of fiduciary duty. This ruling means that this case can go to trial with the bank bringing the claims against the granddaughter.
See Jeffrey Skatoff, Joint Bank Account Holder Removes the Money – What Happens, Clark Skatoff, July 13, 2014.