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Marx v. Whitney National Bank

Supreme Court of Louisiana
713 So. 2d 1142 (1998)


Facts

David Marx (plaintiff) maintained a checking account at Whitney National Bank (Whitney) (defendant). Whitney sent Marx monthly bank statements. In January 1995, Marx’s bank statement revealed that five forged checks had been cashed against his account. However, Marx did not review the January bank statement and did not become aware of these checks. Marx also did not review the next three monthly bank statements sent by Whitney, and failed to notice additional forged checks cashed against his account. In April 1995, two of Marx’s children were added as joint owners to his bank account. In May 1995, Marx’s son noticed that five forged checks were listed on the monthly bank statement. Marx reported the forged checks to Whitney and identified his grandson as the maker and payee of the forged checks. Marx requested that Whitney refund the amount of the forged checks to his account, but Whitney refused. Marx sued Whitney, asserting that Whitney was required to credit back to his account the funds paid out for the last five forged checks. Both Marx and Whitney agreed that Marx’s grandson had access to Marx’s bank account during a visit and that Marx was negligent for failing to review his bank statements from January to April. Marx filed a motion for summary judgment, which was granted by the trial court. The court of appeal affirmed. The Supreme Court of Louisiana granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Marcus, J.)

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