BANKING: ECONOMIC LOSS RULE: DEPOSITOR STATED CAUSE OF ACTION BY ALLEGING INDEPENDENT TORTS SEPARATE FROM BANK’S WRONGFUL DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS BASED ON FORGED DOCUMENTS: WAIVER OF JURY TRIAL IN RULES FOR DEPOSIT ACCOUNTS DID NOT APPLY TO INDEPENDENT TORTS

Marian Farms, Inc. v. Suntrust Banks, Inc., ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D69 (Fla. 5th DCA January 3, 2014)

The bank allowed a dishonest employee of the depositor to make withdrawals from the depositor’s corporate account. The trial court dismissed the depositor’s complaint based upon the economic loss rule.  The appellate court reversed because the depositor “alleged independent torts and causes of action separate from [the bank’s] disbursement of funds on deposit,” such as, negligently “accepting forged loan documents and personal guarantees of the principals of [the depositor] without verifying their authenticity,” “accept[ing] obviously forged loan documents without attempting to verify authorization for a loan secured by [the depositor’s] equipment,” and “accept[ing] a forged corporate resolution authorizing the dishonest employee of [the depositor] to make withdrawals from the corporate account, including a representation that authorization had been verified, when in fact, it had not.”  The trial court also erred by concluding that the depositor was not entitled to a jury trial based upon a waiver in the “Rules and Regulations for Deposit Accounts” because the depositor was asserting “independent torts or other causes of action” based upon an “act or omission separate from a breach of the depository agreement.”