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McClain v. RBS Citizen's Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

September 30, 2014

LISA McCLAIN, Plaintiff
v.
RBS CITIZEN'S BANK, N.A., et al.,[1] Defendants

For LISA MCCLAIN, Plaintiff: TIMOTHY R. HOUGH, LEAD ATTORNEY, JAFFE & HOUGH, PHILADELPHIA, PA.

For RBS CITIZEN'S BANK, N.A., CITIZEN'S BANK OF PENNSYLVANIA, Defendant: PENELOPE B. O'CONNELL, LEAD ATTORNEY, ECKERT SEAMANS CHERIN & MELLOTT LLC, WILMINGTON, DE; ROBERT J. HANNEN, LEAD ATTORNEY, ECKERT, SEAMANS, CHERIN & MELLOTT, LLC, PHILADELPHIA, PA; DAVID S. COHEN, MINTZER, SAROWITZ, ZERIS, LEDVA & MEYERS LLP, PHILADELPHIA, PA.

Page 439

MEMORANDUM

C. DARNELL JONES, II, JUDGE.

Pending before the court is a motion to dismiss filed by defendants RBS Citizens

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Bank, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. (Doc. No. 19.) After a thorough review of the motion and the parties' respective briefs, the court will GRANT the motion IN PART and DENY IN PART. Count I (Negligent Infliction of Emotion Distress), Count II (Public Disclosure), Count III (Intrusion Upon Seclusion), and Count VIII (Punitive Damages) will be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. Defendants' motion to dismiss will be DENIED in all other respects.

BACKGROUND

The pertinent facts, viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiff, are as follows. Since 2002, plaintiff, Lisa McClain, a New Jersey resident, maintained personal banking accounts with defendants, Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania and RBS Citizens.[2] (Sec. Am. Compl. at ¶ ¶ 1, 6.) Defendant Citizens Bank is a Pennsylvania Financial Institution with its registered office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Id. at ¶ 3. Defendant RBS Citizens N.A. is a Rhode Island Corporation engaged in banking with offices throughout Philadelphia. Id. at ¶ 2.

Until August 5, 2011, plaintiff worked for and conducted her banking at defendant Citizens Bank in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Id. at ¶ ¶ 3-4. During that time, plaintiff's immediate supervisor was Kim O'Donnell, a Vice-President with defendant Citizens Bank. Id. at ¶ 5. After her termination on August 5, 2011, plaintiff continued to maintain her personal bank accounts. Id. at ¶ ¶ 6-7. Plaintiff alleges that, unbeknownst to her, Ms. O'Donnell used defendants' IMI system to access plaintiff's bank accounts during work hours. Id. at ¶ ¶ 7, 28, 48. O'Donnell then shared plaintiff's personal financial information with her coworkers, specifically that plaintiff was seeing a psychiatrist, was receiving unemployment benefits, and was being treated by various doctors for personal health conditions. Id. at ¶ ¶ 7-8, 10-11. Plaintiff further alleges that O'Donnell disclosed plaintiff's salary information to O'Donnell's coworkers and allegedly questioned how plaintiff and her husband paid their mortgage. Id. at ¶ ¶ 7-9, 10-11. Plaintiff alleges that O'Donnell had no legitimate banking reason for accessing accounts or disclosing her financial information to other RBS Citizens and Citizens Bank employees. Id. at ¶ ¶ 13, 63.

Plaintiff avers that, prior to the data breaches, defendants were aware that O'Donnell had engaged in similar inappropriate conduct in the past. Id. at ¶ 16. Further, after O'Donnell began accessing plaintiff's accounts, management-level employees of Citizens and RBS Citizens became aware of the intrusions and failed to report them. Id. at ¶ 14. Despite this knowledge, defendants continued to allow O'Donnell access to plaintiff's personal financial information--allegedly with the intent of holding plaintiff out to ridicule amongst her former co-workers. Id. at ¶ ¶ 17, 27. On July 24, 2012, plaintiff learned of O'Donnell's conduct while attending a funeral when former co-workers asked her about her health and well-being. ( Id. at ¶ 21.) Plaintiff claims she was humiliated and embarrassed. ( Id. at ¶ 29.)

On February 15, 2013, plaintiff filed a complaint in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County. Defendants removed the complaint to federal court on March 25, 2013. (Doc. No. 1.) They filed their first motion to dismiss, (Doc. No. 7), and plaintiff filed an amended complaint before the court reached the merits of the motion, (Doc. No. 10). Defendants filed a

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second motion to dismiss, (Doc. No. 13), and the court granted plaintiff leave to amend her complaint to clarify the theory of liability under which she was seeking to hold defendants liable,[3] (Doc. No. 18). On November 25, 2013, plaintiff filed a second amended complaint, which stated respondeat superior claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count I), public disclosure (Count II), and intrusion upon seclusion (Count III); direct liability claims for negligent supervision (Count V), negligent training (Count VI), and negligent hiring/retention (Count VII); claims under the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978 and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (Count IV); and a claim for punitive damages (Count VIII). (Doc. No. ...


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