RPM Pizza, Inc., a Domino’s Pizza franchisee, maintained a checking account at Bank…

RPM Pizza, Inc., a Domino’s Pizza franchisee, maintained a checking account at Bank One–Cambridge. On May 29, 1992, RPM erroneously issued a $96,000 check drawn on its account at the bank and payable to a computer broker, Systems Marketing. After mailing the check, RPM realized its error, and on June 2, 1992, RPM placed a stop-payment order on the check. As stated in its account agreement with Bank One (and in the UCC as adopted in Ohio), written stop-payment orders are effective for six months. The stop-payment order expired on December 6, 1992, and RPM failed to renew it. On December 22, 1992, Systems Marketing deposited the check in its account at the Bank of Tampa, Florida. When the Bank of Tampa received the check, it was more than six months old and was therefore “stale” according to standard banking procedures. The Bank of Tampa credited the check to Systems Marketing’s account and sent it forward to Bank One–Cambridge, which charged it against RPM’s checking account. RPM brought suit against Bank One, claiming that the bank had not exercised ordinary care or acted in good faith in paying the stale check. The bank established that it routinely paid stale checks and that its internal operating procedures simply required it to perform a signature authorization on checks of more than $50,000, which it did in this case. Did the bank violate the duty it owed to its customer, RPM, when it paid a check that was more than six months old?

 

 

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