Court erred in refusing to award bank set-off

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Bank One appeals the trial court’s entry of judgment in favor of Jeannene Surber (“Jeannene”) and its award of damages. The issues in the case are as follows:

1. Whether Jeannene released her claims against Bank One by entering into a settlement agreement in a cause of action separate from this action.

2. Whether the trial court’s award of damages constituted an abuse of discretion.

Conclusion (slip op. at 22):  Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

Key Analysis (slip op. at 13, 16):  Based on the contradictory provisions of the settlement agreement and Jeannene’s testimony that she did not intend to release Bank One from liability by executing the settlement agreement, the trial court properly concluded that the settlement agreement did not release Bank One from liability . . . The trial court’s judgment in this case ultimately requires Bank One to pay Jeannene the funds in the account twice . . . By denying Bank One a set-off for its payment to Jeannene, the trial court has given Jeannene a windfall and has placed her in a better position than she would have been in had Bank One not acted negligently and not breached its contract with Jeannene.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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