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Can I sue a bank for negligence?

Brooklyn, NY |

My Grandmother has Alzheimer which was noted on her accounts at her bank. Someone would take her to the bank and have her sign out all her funds every week. Once we found out we contacted the bank to see if we could file charges but we needed the video. They told us that they could not release it without a lawyer. However the police got involved and they agreed to release the tape. They gave us the run around for quite a while and we decided to just go up to the bank personally. The bank manager then told us that they don't record the bank they pretend to so that the staff doesn't steal and to make the bank appear secure to customers. I am so baffled by this lack of security and wanted to know if we could sue for negligence.

Attorney Answers 2


I am pretty sure that all national banks have a video system that records everything and that the FDIC requires it. This also sounds very much like a case going on in Ohio where a bank employee was actually involved in similar activity with a caretaker, taking money from an elderly woman. I believe the Dayton, Ohio attorney handling it was Craig Matthews and the case is still going on. This type of fraud is commonly called "Elder Fraud" or "Elder Abuse." Given the run around you have already gotten, I think it is time for you to talk to a local Elder Abuse or Fraud lawyer near you. Anything that involves an elderly person’s money or property can be suspicious. And elder financial abuse laws can be different from state to state. You need to talk to a local Elder Law or Estate Law attorney who deals with this kind of case. You can look for an Elder Law attorney at under the Find an Attorney tab. Or call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to an Elder Law attorney near you. But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually handle a problem or file case in court or your rights may expire (it's often called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to an Elder Law attorney and finding out what legal rights there are. If this answer was helpful, please give a “Vote UP” review below. And be sure to indicate the best answer to your question so we can all be sure we are being helpful. Thanks for asking and Good Luck. Ron Burdge,

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Ok great thank you very much for the information. My family that I am speaking of lives in Dayton, OH.


I understand your frustration, but I doubt if you have a claim for negligence against the bank. The proximate cause of your grandmother's loss was the action of the criminal, not the bank's lack of security. Even if you could prove that the bank acted unreasonably by failing to videotape the transactions, you could not show that proximate cause of the loss was the bank's negligence.

Unfortunately, abuse of elders is rampant, and there is insufficient attention to this problem by law enforcement and governments at the state and Federal level. But it seems unproductive to blame banks and other legitimate businesses for the deplorable conduct of those who engage in this type of misconduct.

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