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Trahan v. First National Bank of Ruston

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
690 F.2d 466 (1982)


Facts

In 1973, J. C. Trahan (plaintiff) put up 15,000 shares of Texas International Petroleum Corporation (TIPCO) stock as collateral for a loan from the First National Bank of Ruston (defendant). In 1977, Trahan repaid the loan, but the bank refused to return the stock, stating that the stock had been used as collateral for a separate loan to Resource Exploration, Inc., a company with which Trahan was associated. The pledge of this stock by Resource, however, was not valid. In 1978, Resource defaulted on its loan, and the bank sold the stock. The value of the stock on this date was $10.00 per share. Trahan sued the bank for conversion. In 1982, the district court found the bank guilty of conversion of the stock. The value of the stock at that time was $29.50 per share. The stock had reached a high price of $64.25 per share in 1981. As damages, the court ordered the bank to procure 15,000 shares of TIPCO stock—the bank had been sued by a purchaser of the stock, and the case was pending in state court, making the stock obtainable—and give it to Trahan. Both parties appealed the award of damages. The bank argued that damages should be the value of the stock at the time of conversion.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

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