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Zeffiro v. First Pennsylvania Banking & Trust Co.

623 F.2d 290 (1980)

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Zeffiro v. First Pennsylvania Banking & Trust Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

623 F.2d 290 (1980)

Facts

Jay A. Zeffiro and Harry M. Barnard, Jr. (collectively, the debenture holders) (plaintiffs) held debentures issued by Capital Equipment Leasing Corporation (Capital). The debentures were issued by Capital under an indenture that appointed First Pennsylvania Banking & Trust Co. (First Pennsylvania) (defendant) as the indenture trustee. Capital defaulted on the debentures and filed for bankruptcy. The debenture holders filed a lawsuit against First Pennsylvania in federal district court, alleging that First Pennsylvania violated the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 by breaching indenture terms required by the act. First Pennsylvania moved to dismiss the case, arguing that the Trust Indenture Act did not create a federal cause of action against an indenture trustee for violating an indenture. Instead, First Pennsylvania reasoned that claims brought under an indenture were contractual claims governed by state law. The district court held that the debenture holders had a federal cause of action under the Trust Indenture Act. First Pennsylvania appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rosenn, J.)

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