Vardell v. Union Planters
In a case decided by the Appellate Court of Illinois, our attorneys successfully obtained reversal of a trial court decision in a class action brought against Regions Bank (formerly Union Planters, a national bank) in Madison County, Illinois. The plaintiff had alleged that she and the other members of her putative class were victims of "wrongful dishonor" when the Bank charged them, as non-accountholders at the Bank, a US$5.00 fee for cashing checks drawn on deposits held by the Bank. The Appellate Court accepted our petition for interlocutory review of this case, along with a similar case involving essentially the same claims. In the companion case, the Appellate Court directed dismissal of plaintiffs claims on federal preemption grounds, reiterating many of the points argued in our brief in the case against Regions Bank. In the Regions Bank case itself, the Court found that it did not need to reach the issue of preemption, because the plaintiff lacked standing to bring her wrongful dishonor claim under Section 4-402 of the Uniform Commercial Code, which applies only to "customers" of a bank, and the plaintiff was not a "customer" of Regions Bank as defined by that provision. Accordingly, the Appellate Court directed dismissal of the class action.