Commercial Law Keyed to Warren
HSBC Bank USA v. F & M Bank Northern Virginia
In March 1999, Donald Lynch purchased a check from Allied Irish Bank (“AIB”) in Ireland. The check was made payable to Advance Marketing and Investment Inc. (“AMI”) in the amount of $250.00. The drawee/payor on the check was the plaintiff HSBC Bank (the “plaintiff”). The check was written with open space in the numerical portion and the written portion of the check. Prior to the check being deposit into AMI’s account at the defendant bank F & M Bank Northern Virginia (the “defendant”), the amount on the check was altered from $250.00 to $250,000.00. It change in the amount was unauthorized and the check was indorsed “A.M.I., Inc.” When the defendant presented the check to the plaintiff it warranted that the check “had not been altered.” The plaintiff paid $250,000.00 to the defendant and debited AIB’s account for the full amount. Later, AIB informed the plaintiff that the check had an unauthorized alteration. The plaintiff recredited AIB’s account and brought and actio n against the defendant alleging that a breach of presentment warranty pursuant to UCC Section: 4-207(1)(c) and (2)(c). The district court held that the plaintiff established all the elements of its breach of presentment warranty claim and that AIB exercised ordinary care in preparing the check. On appeal, the defendant claims that the district court’s finding that AIB exercised ordinary care in preparing the check is erroneous.
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