In a post-foreclosure lawsuit, Santos v. U.S. Bank National Association, et al., 2016 WL 3636049 (Mass.App.Ct. 2016), a borrower ("Santos") alleged inter alia that a foreclosing mortgagee ("U.S. Bank") and its loan servicer negligently handled his applications for a HAMP loan modification. Santos argued that the defendants "negligently failed to adhere to the HAMP guidelines in processing his loan modification applications."
By its nature, Electronically stored information ("ESI") has a tendency to become voluminous and can had a profound impact on the cost of litigation and the issues and obligations faced by litigants. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e) is intended to provide a safe harbor from sanctions for the loss of ESI resulting from "the routine, good-faith operation of an electronic information system." Since the rule was put in place in 2006, courts have applied very different analytical frameworks and standards when considering requests for sanctions for lost ESI. Because of the problems created by the inconsistency and uncertainty of the rule's application, including concerns that parties would be held to a standard that required the over-preservation of ESI, the old rule has been scrapped and a revised version of Rule 37(e) goes into effect on December 1, 2015.
For a viable negligence claim against a construction project management firm, the plaintiff has the burden of showing that the defendant exercised "managerial control" over the manner in which the work was performed when the plaintiff was injured. A recent Suffolk Superior Court ruling emphasized that in order for an injured plaintiff-laborer to bring suit against a construction manager, there must be a showing that the management company directed the work, assumed contractual responsibility, or otherwise could be deemed to have been "in control" of the jobsite.
The First Circuit has affirmed a holding finding that no private right of action exists for homeowner-borrowers under the Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP"), bringing clarity on this issue to courts within the Circuit. In the underlying mater, Mackenzie v. Flagstar Bank, FSB, 2013 WL 139738 (D. Mass. Jan. 9, 2013) aff'd, 2013 WL 6840611 (1st Cir. Dec. 30, 2013), Magistrate Judge Bowler of the United States District Court had held a borrower is not an intended third-party beneficiary of the Servicer Participation Agreement ("SPA") among the banks and the federal government relating to HAMP. The District Court further held that absent an independent duty to modify the mortgage, neither the existence of a mortgagor-mortgagee relationship nor HAMP itself created any duty enforceable by the borrower.
In a recent case, Bernkopf Goodman LLP v. Herbert, 2013 WL 803521 (March 21, 2013), Massachusetts Federal District Judge Zobel considered the scope of a bank's duty of care to non-customers in cases of alleged misappropriation by an account holder. The plaintiff, Bernkopf Goodman LLP (the "Firm"), alleged that its payroll company, Checkmaster Payroll Service ("Checkmaster"), had misappropriated funds that were supposed to be used to pay the Firm's taxes. In addition to naming Checkmaster as a defendant, the Firm sued the two banks that Checkmaster used to transfer the Firm's funds that were supposed to be paid to the I.R.S. The Firm claimed that the banks were negligent in failing to prevent the alleged misappropriation.
A bank is not liable to its customer's employee, who was fired for negligence with respect to the employer's deposits, the Appellate Division recently held in Dennen v. TD Bank Gloucester, 2013 WL 865318 (2013).