L & # 39; s case
Philip Bradford brought a personal injury claim against the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, Robert Williams Moving & Storage Inc. and Fisher Action Co. Inc.
Bradford's lawyer, Scott Rovenger, entered into an agreement with the orchestra under which his insurer, Gulf Insurance Co., pledged $ 280,000 to pay Bradford's claim against the orchestra.
Gulf sent Bradford and Rovenger a check for the settlement amount, which Rovenger filed in Wells Fargo forging Bradford's signature.
Subsequently, Rovenger escaped with the settlement money. Rovenger then pleaded guilty to defrauding clients and was sentenced to prison.
The Bradford pursuit was reinstated and the orchestra and Bradford reached a settlement agreement in late 2017 under which Gulf paid Bradford $ 500,000 as a full settlement of its claims against the company. # 39; orchestra.
Gulf then sued Wells Fargo for negligence, claiming that the bank had improperly allowed Rovenger to deposit the initial paycheck, in violation of its own check deposit policies and procedures.
Wells Fargo has moved. In particular, it argued that the statute of limitations prohibited any claim by Gulf against Wells Fargo.
District court decision
The district court accepted the bank's request.
In its decision, the District Court explained that under applicable Florida law, an action in negligence must be brought within four years from the date on which the case was constituted. The District Court noted that the Florida courts had found that the limitation period did not begin until the plaintiff knew or ought not to have known of the injury. As a result, the District Court continued, "the determination of when Gulf knew or ought to have known that the settlement was fraudulent and therefore suffered damage" was "essential to his claim".
The district court found that once the original settlement with Bradford had been rescinded on the basis of Rovenger's fraud, Gulf had been damaged. It was true, continued the District Court, that Bradford's case was settled or not by a settlement, either for Bradford or for the orchestra, because once established that the first settlement was a fraudulent product, Gulf knew he had paid $ 280,000. otherwise, he would not have paid.
The District Court noted that Bradford, through the intermediary of a new lawyer, had requested the cancellation of the settlement and the dismissal on the basis of the fraudulent settlement of August 16, 2012, and that the court the state had granted the petition on December 31, 2012.
Thus, the District Court held that by December 31, 2012, Gulf knew or ought to have known that it had paid $ 280,000, which otherwise would not have been paid, and that it has been damaged. As a result, the District Court concluded, the four-year limitation period applicable to any negligence claim expired on December 31, 2016 at the latest, nearly two years before Gulf filed its complaint against Wells Fargo. closed off.
The case is Gulf Insurance c. Wells Fargo Bank, No. 19-cv-60027-BLOOM / Valle (S. D. Fla., March 12, 2019). The lawyers involved include: For GULF INSURANCE, Plaintiff: Craig Mitchell Greene, MAJOR AVIATOR, Kramer Green Zuckerman Greene & Buchsbaum, Hollywood; Ryan Evan Michaels, MAJOR AVIATOR, Kramer, Green, Zuckerman, Greene & Buchsbaum P.A., Hollywood. For WELLS FARGO BANK, NA, Defendant: Amy S. Rubin, MAIN PROSECUTOR, David Andrew Greene, Fox Rothschild LLP, West Palm Beach.