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PROVIDENT TRUST COMPANY PHILADELPHIA v. INTERBORO BANK AND TRUST COMPANY (06/28/57)

June 28, 1957

PROVIDENT TRUST COMPANY OF PHILADELPHIA
v.
INTERBORO BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 10, Jan. T., 1958, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, June T., 1954, No. 2009, in case of Provident Trust Company of Philadelphia V. Interboro Bank and Trust Company. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Sidney L. Wickenhaver, with him Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, for appellant.

Herbert A. Barton, with him Robert W. Beatty and Swartz, Campbell & Henry, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 389 Pa. Page 549]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

On June 28, 1951, Arthur Benson obtained from Mrs. Cora V. Savidge, whom he had known for 25 years, a power of attorney to sell her Lansdowne property, manage the business of her deceased husband, invest funds, negotiate loans and accomplish other business matters not necessary to relate here. On July 6, 1951, he endorsed Mrs. Savidge's name without her knowledge to a judgment note and borrowed $6000 on it from the Interboro Bank & Trust Company. With this money he opened an account in that bank in her name. He then withdrew from the account $5049.63.

[ 389 Pa. Page 550]

A week later he attended the settlement closing the sale of Mrs. Savidge's Lansdowne property at the office of the Commonwealth Title Company, which turned over to him its check payable to Mrs. Savidge in the amount of $9,300.32 due her as grantor. The check was drawn on the Provident Trust Company of Philadelphia, the plaintiff in this lawsuit. Benson endorsed (again without her knowledge) the name of Mrs. Savidge to this check and deposited it in the account he had opened in her name in the Interboro Bank. The Interboro Bank negotiated, transferred, and delivered the check to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia which delivered it to the Provident Trust Company and received from the Provident Trust the amount of the check which the Reserve Bank then turned over to Interboro. Provident then charged the account of Commonwealth Title with the amount of the check.

When Benson deposited the $9300 check in the Interboro Bank on August 1, 1951, Mrs. Savidge's account at that time was already overdrawn in the amount of $35.12. With the depositing of the $9300, Interboro collected the $6,000 it had loaned to Benson on the assumption it was going to Mrs. Savidge. By the end of August, 1951, the entire amount deposited by Benson had been withdrawn, save $33.17.

It was not until April, 1952, that Mrs. Savidge became aware of Benson's duplicities and illegal transactions. In that month Benson began serving a prison sentence for an unrelated Federal offense. Mrs. Savidge now employed counsel to represent her and she learned, inter alia, of the existence of the account in her name in Interboro, of the $6,000 and $9,300 deposits made in her name, and the ensuing withdrawals. She brought suit against the Commonwealth Title Company for the proceeds from the sale of her property, asserting that the Title Company had no authority to pay to Benson

[ 389 Pa. Page 551]

    the money due her. The Title Company settled this lawsuit upon payment of $7500 to Mrs. Savidge who then assigned to the Title Company all her rights to proceeds in the Lansdowne property transaction as well as her rights to the $9300 check issued by the Title Company. The Title Company reassigned these rights to the Provident Trust Company which, in its dual position as assignee of Mrs. Savidge's rights, and as drawee bank, brought suit against the Interboro Bank for the amount it had ...


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