Sunday, June 5, 2016

South Florida man hurt by SWAT team as he tried to cash check can seek new $3.3M award from Bank of America

Originally  Posted on the ABA Law Journal June 3, 2016
By Martha Neil

“When Rodolfo Valladares went to a Florida branch of the Bank of America in 2008, he was just trying to cash a $100 check. But after he was mistaken for a robber by a teller, a SWAT team was called, and Valladares was kicked in the head by responding law officers, allegedly sustaining life-altering permanent injuries." The bank could be liable because "mistaking Valladares for the robber, the teller triggered a silent alarm and engaged him in conversation, even though he did nothing, then or later, to suggest that he intended to rob the bank, the supreme court says in its written opinion (PDF).. . . .Public policy supports a limited immunity for those who make innocent, simple mistakes, but that limited immunity cannot extend to conduct that recklessly disregards the rights of others,” the majority wrote, explaining its 5-2 decision. “In the case of Valladares, the bank had ample information and ample time to know the true facts and to correct the false report, but failed to do so. Once there is information indicating that a crime is not being committed, this limited privilege should not extend to a person’s failure to alert law enforcement that a reported crime is a mistake or simply wrong.”  More.

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