Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thomas v. First National Bank of Scranton case brief

Thomas v. First National Bank of Scranton case brief summary
96 A.2d 196 (1953)

Defendant bank sought review of the judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County (Pennsylvania) in favor of plaintiff depositor in his suit to recover funds paid out by defendant on a stopped check.

Plaintiff filed an action in assumpsit against defendant to recover funds paid by defendant out of plaintiff's bank account after plaintiff signed a stop-payment order on a check. The trial court awarded plaintiff the amount of the check plus interest.


  • On appeal, the court reversed the judgment. 
  • The printed form that plaintiff signed to stop payment on the check contained a statement releasing the bank from liability if the check was paid through inadvertence, accident, or oversight. 
  • Plaintiff's stop-payment order was not absolute but was qualified by the terms of the request which he signed. 
  • The common law liability of a bank may be limited provided the limitation has the assent of the depositor. 
  • The release signed by plaintiff provided that plaintiff agreed to be legally bound by the terms of the stop-payment form.

The judgment for plaintiff was reversed. Plaintiff had signed a stop-payment order that contained a statement releasing defendant from liability if the check was paid through accident, inadvertence, or oversight.

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