PUGET SOUND BANK CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT

Attorney West Seattle, P.S. is representing several people that are being denied redemption of their bank bonds, bank bills, and certificate of deposits from Puget Sound Bank. Their certificates were issued in the 1980’s.

If you have a bank bond, bank bill, or certificate of deposit from Puget Sound Bank, call us today for a free consultation. Our phone number is 206 745 3738.

A copy of our current complaint against Bank of America, Key Bank, and U.S. Bank is below.

COMES NOW, the Plaintiffs, by and through their attorney of record, Eric J. Harrison of Attorney West Seattle, P.S., and allege on information and belief the following First Amended Complaint.

INTRODUCTION

Between 1980 and 1987, Plaintiffs and/or their benefactors deposited money in exchange for bank bonds, bills, certificates, time deposits, CDs, and multiple maturity non-negotiable time certificate of deposits (together “Bond” or “Bonds”) issued by Seattle-First National Bank, American Savings Bank of Tacoma, and Rainier National Bank. A copy of Plaintiff David Asuncion’s Bond is attached as Exhibit A. Plaintiffs’ initial annual interest rates on the Bonds range from “7%” to “14.25%” and provide for automatic renewal. Plaintiffs held the original Bonds in a safety deposit box or other secure place for safekeeping. The terms on the Bonds require the registered owner to surrender the original Bond to redeem their principal and unpaid interest. U.S. Bank, Bank of America, and Key Bank acquired the Seattle-First National Banks, American Savings Bank of Tacoma, and/or Rainier National Banks that issued Plaintiffs’ Bonds. Recently, Plaintiffs went to U.S. Bank, Bank of America, and Key Bank to surrender their Bonds and withdraw their money. U.S. Bank, Bank of America, and Key Bank refused to return Plaintiffs’ money. Bank of America has previously been sued multiple times for their failure to redeem Rainier National Bank Bonds. In one case, Poletti v. Bank of America, King County Superior Court Judge Douglas A. North held that Bank of America breached their contract and ordered Bank of America to pay the holder of the Bond. Nevertheless, Bank of America, U.S. Bank and Key Bank continue to tell Plaintiffs that their Bonds are worthless and that they have no value.

PARTIES

1.              Plaintiff Connie Harris is a resident of Clark County, Nevada. Plaintiff Kristi Scocco is a resident of King County, Washington. Plaintiff Susan Sartain is a resident of Wake County, North Carolina. Plaintiff Mary Mihovilich is a resident of Grays Harbor County, Washington. Plaintiff David Asuncion is a resident of King County, Washington. Plaintiffs Brian Jaeger and Judy Jaeger are residents of Washtenaw County, Michigan. Plaintiff Mary Cantu is a resident of Snohomish County, Washington. Plaintiff Kristen Weise is a resident of King County, Washington. Plaintiff Dain Peez is a resident of King County, Washington. Plaintiff Katrina Johnson is a resident of Pierce County, Washington. Plaintiff Catherine Clemens is a resident of San Juan County, Washington. Plaintiff Mark Miller is a resident of Snohomish County, Washington. Plaintiff Mary Miotke is a resident of Pierce County, Washington. Plaintiff Dale Doyon is a resident of King County, Washington. Plaintiff Aaron Heintzman is a resident of Los Angeles County, California. Plaintiff Sara McNamara is a resident of Marquette County, Wisconsin. Plaintiff Erin Bast is a resident of Stevens County, Washington. Plaintiff Maria Sagisi Geiss is a resident King County, Washington.

2.              Defendant U.S. BankCorp (“U.S. Bank”), is a national banking association with its main office in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Defendant Bank of America, N.A. (“Bank of America”), is a national banking association with its main office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Defendant KeyCorp (“Key Bank”), is a national banking association with its main office in Cleveland, Ohio. U.S. Bank, Bank of America and Key Bank are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an independent bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury. U.S. Bank, Bank of America and Key Bank hold successor interest in Rainier National Bank (“Rainier Bank”), including Rainier Bank’s assets and liabilities. Bank of America holds successor interest in Seattle-First National Bank (“Seattle-First”) and American Savings Bank of Tacoma (“American Savings”), including Seattle-First’s and American Savings’ assets and liabilities. All further references to “the banks” or to “Defendants”, refer to U.S. Bank, Bank of America, N.A. and KeyCorp, and their predecessors.

JURISDICTION & VENUE

3.              At all relevant times, Defendants U.S. Bank, Bank of America and Key Bank maintained offices and transacted business in Washington, including King County.

4.              The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington possesses subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332, 28 U.S.C. §1441 and 28 U.S.C. § 1367(b).

5.              Venue in Western District of Washington is proper pursuant to 28 U.S. Code §1391.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

6.              In 1983, BankAmerica acquired Seattle-First, including all of Seattle-First’s deposits and obligations on Bonds issued by Seattle-First.

7.              In 1987 Security Pacific Corporation acquired Rainier Bank, including all of Rainier Bank’s deposits and obligations on Bonds issued by Rainier Bank branches. In 1992 Security Pacific Corporation merged with BankAmerica to create Bank of America. The merger included Rainier Bank deposits and obligations on Bonds issued by Rainier Bank branches. As part of the merger, the U.S. Department of Justice required Bank of America to divest several Rainier Bank branches, including their deposits and obligations on Bonds issued by the Rainier Bank branches, to other banks.

8.              West One Bankcorp purchased several Rainier Bank branches from Bank of America, including the Admiral Way branch, Tacoma branch, and Puyallup branch. West One Bankcorp’s purchase included the branches’ deposits and obligations on Bonds issued by the Rainier Bank Admiral Way branch, Tacoma branch, and Puyallup branch. In 1995, West One Bankcorp merged all its assets and liabilities with U.S. Bankcorp of Portland to create Defendant U.S. Bank. The merger included the deposits and obligations on Bonds issued by the Rainier Bank Admiral Way branch, Rainier Bank Tacoma branch, and Rainier Bank Puyallup branch.

9.              Key Bank purchased several Rainier Bank branches from Bank of America, including the Grays Harbor branch, Magnolia branch, University branch, Goldendale branch, and Crown Hill branch. Key Bank’s purchase included the branches’ deposits and obligations on Bonds issued by the Rainier Bank Grays Harbor branch, Rainier Bank Magnolia branch, Rainier Bank University branch, Rainier Bank Goldendale branch, and Rainier Bank Crown Hill branch.

10.           Bank of America acquired American Savings Bank in Tacoma, Washington, including its deposits and obligations on Bonds issued by American Savings Bank.

11.           U.S. Bank, Bank of America, and Key Bank are successors in interest to the Rainier Bank Bonds listed in this complaint. Bank of America is successor in interest to the Seattle-First and American Savings Bonds listed in this complaint.

12.           U.S. Bank, Key Bank, and Bank of America received benefit from the Rainier Bank issued Bonds by earning interests on the deposits. Bank of America received benefit from the Seattle-First and American Savings issued Bonds by earning interests on the deposits.

13.           On April 14th, 1986 American Savings Bank issued a Certificate of Deposit under Certificate No. 03-10300864-7 (“CD No. 03-10300864-7”) to Shawn and Marcie Wood and Connie Wood-Harris and Virginia Wood (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $50,000.00. CD No. 03-10300864-7 was issued by the Tacoma branch of American Savings Bank. Plaintiff Connie Wood-Harris purchased CD No. 03-10300864-7 and is listed as the registered owner of American Savings Bank Certificate No. 03-10300864-7.

14.           On December 4th, 1981 Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 190791 (“Bond No. 190791”) to Norman H. or Lovurn G. Thomas with the right of survivorship (registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $2,000.00. Bond No. 190791 was issued by the Admiral Way Branch of Rainier Bank. Norman H. and Lovurn G. Thomas purchased Bond No. 190791 from the Admiral Way Branch of Rainier Bank. Norman H. and Lovurn G. Thomas’s daughter is Plaintiff Kristi Scocco. Norman H. Thomas or Lovurn Thomas are listed as the registered owners of Bond No. 190791. Norman H. Thomas died on March 7, 2007 and Lovurn Thomas died on October 27, 2009. Plaintiff Kristi Scocco is heir to Norman H. and Lovurn G. Thomas, and heir to Rainier Bank Bond No. 190791.

15.           On February 25th, 1982, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bill No. 187720 (“Bill No. 187720”) to Cody M. Sartain or Susan K. Sartain and Michael R. Sartain or the survivor (“registered owners”) for the funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $16,000.00. On July 5th, 1985, Rainier Bank issued Rainier National Bank Time Deposit No. 002 (“Sartain Time Deposit No. 002”) to Cody M. Sartain or Susan K. Sartain and Michael R. Sartain with right of survivorship (“registered owners”) for the funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $20,000.00. The bank bill and time deposit were issued by the Puyallup Branch of Rainier Bank. Cody M. Sartain purchased Bill No. 187720 and Sartain Time Deposit No. 002 from the Puyallup Branch of Rainier Bank. Cody M. Sartain is listed as the registered owner of Rainier Bank Bill No. 187720 and Sartain Time Deposit No. 002. Cody M. Sartain’s daughter is Plaintiff Susan K. Sartain. Cody M. Sartain died on September 10, 2008. Michael R. Sartain died on July 29, 2017. Susan K. Sartain is heir to Cody M. Sartain and heir to Rainier Bank Bill No. 187720 and Sartain Time Deposit No. 002.

16.           On July 2nd, 1980, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 131755 (“Bond No. 131755”) to Mary Mihovilich or Steve John Mihovilich or the survivor (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $1,437.02. Bond No. 131755 was issued by the Grays Harbor Branch of Rainier Bank. Plaintiff Mary Mihovilich purchased Bond No. 131755 from the Grays Harbor Branch of Rainier Bank. Plaintiff Mary Mihovilich is listed as the registered owner of Rainier Bank Bond No. 131755. Jan Pellegrini is the niece of registered owner Mary Mihovilich, and the daughter of registered owner Steve John Mihovilich and has power of attorney to act on behalf of both Mary Mihovilich and Steve John Mihovilich.

17.           On December 30, 1982, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 232598 (“Bond No. 232598”) to David or Claire Asuncion with right of survivorship (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $500.00. Bond No. 232598 was issued by the Totem Lake Branch of Rainier Bank. Plaintiff David Asuncion purchased Bond No. 232598 from the Totem Lake Branch of Rainier Bank. Claire Douglas’s maiden name is Claire Asuncion and she is the daughter to Plaintiff David Asuncion. Plaintiff David Asuncion and Claire Douglas’s maiden names are listed as the registered owners of Rainier Bank Bond No. 232598.

18.           On January 23, 1980, Seattle-First issued First Bank Bond No. 00596833 (“Bond No. 00596833”) to Judy Ann Jaeger or Brian D. Jaeger (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $1,064.59. Bond No. 00596833 was issued by the Overlake Park Branch of Seattle-First. Plaintiffs Judy Ann Jaeger or Brian D. Jaeger purchased Bond No. 00596833 from the Overlake Park Branch of Seattle-First. Plaintiffs Judy Ann Jaeger or Brian D. Jaeger are the registered owners of Bond No. 00596833.

19.           On December 3, 1982, Seattle-First issued First Bank Bond No. 00765134 (“Bond No. 00765134”) to Paula Hinojosa or Mary Lou Cantu (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $1,000.00. On December 3, 1982, Seattle-First issued First Bank Bond No. 00765135 (“Bond No. 00765135”) to Paula Hinojosa (“registered owner”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $1,000.00. The bonds were issued by the Aurora Village Branch of Seattle-First. Paula Hinojosa purchased Bond No. 00765134 and Bond No. 00765135 from the Aurora Village Branch of Seattle-First. Paula Hinojosa or Mary Lou Cantu are listed as the registered owners of Bond No. 00765134 and Bond No. 00765135. Paula Hinojosa’s daughter is Plaintiff Mary Lou Cantu. Paula Hinojosa died on January 19, 1996. Mary Lou Cantu is the registered owner of Bond No. 00765134 and heir to Bond No. 00765135.

20.           On November 9, 1981, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 0198133 (“Bond No. 0198133”) to Kristen Peez or Donald E. Hendrix, (“registered owners”) with the bank in the principal amount of $500.00. On November 9, 1981, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 0198132 (“Bond No. 0198132”) to Dain F. Peez or Donald E. Hendrix (“registered owners”) with the bank in the principal amount of $500.00. On March 12, 1981, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 126120 (“Bond No. 126120”) to Kristen Peez or Donald E. Hendrix (“registered owners”) with the bank in the principal amount of $100.00. The bonds were issued by the Magnolia Branch of Rainier Bank. Donald Hendrix purchased Bond No. 0198133, Bond No. 0198132, and Bond No. 126120 from the Magnolia Branch of Rainier Bank. Donald Hendrix’s grandchildren are Plaintiff Kristen Weise and Plaintiff Dain Peez. Plaintiff Kristen Weise’s maiden name is Kristen Peez. Plaintiff Kristen Weise’s maiden name is listed as a registered owner of Rainier Bank Bond Nos. 0198133 and 126120. Donald Hendrix died in September 11, 2004. Plaintiff Dain F. Peez is the registered owner of Rainier Bank Bond No. 0198132. Plaintiff Kristen Weise is the registered owner of Rainier Bank Bond Nos. 0198133 and 126120.

21.           On January 7, 1980, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 117985 (“Bond No. 117985”) to Virginia M. King-Taylor and Dewey E. Taylor ITF Katrina Rae Jelovich (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $100.00. Bond No. 117985 was issued by the University Branch of Rainier Bank. Dewey E. Taylor purchased Bond No. 117985 in trust for Katrina Rae Jelovich from the University Branch of Rainier Bank. Plaintiff Katrina Johnson’s maiden name is Katrina Rae Jelovich. Plaintiff Katrina Johnson’s maiden name is listed as the registered owner of Rainier Bank Bond No. 117985.

22.           On April 30, 1984, Seattle-First issued Seattle-First Certificate No. 00046404 (“Certificate No. 00046404”) to Catherine Clemens POD Kirsten Clemens (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $350.00. Certificate No. 00046404 was issued by the Queen Anne Branch of Seattle-First. Plaintiff Catherine Clemens purchased Certificate No. 00046404 from the Queen Anne Branch of Seattle-First. Plaintiff Catherine Clemens is the registered owner of Seattle-First Certificate No. 00046404.

23.           On April 10, 1985, Rainier Bank issued Rainier National Bank Time Deposit No. 004 (“Lewis Time Deposit No. 004”) to Alice I. Lewis or Patricia M. Lewis (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $25,000.00. On September 20, 1985, Rainier Bank issued Rainier National Bank Time Deposit No. 003 (“Lewis Time Deposit No. 003”) to Alice I. Lewis or Patricia Lewis (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $16,329.32. On September 14, 1987, Rainier Bank issued Rainier National Bank Time Deposit No. 004 (“Lewis Time Deposit No. 004-2”) to Alice Lewis or Patricia Lewis (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $17,154.76. On March 14, 1985, Rainier Bank issued Rainier National Bank Time Deposit No. 002 (“Lewis Time Deposit No. 002”) to Alice Lewis or Patricia Lewis (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $18,417.76. The time deposits were issued by the Crown Hill Branch of Rainier Bank. Alice Lewis and Patricia Lewis purchased Lewis Time Deposits Nos. 004, 003, 004 and 002 from the Crown Hill Branch of Rainier Bank. Alice Lewis died in January of 2018. Patricia Lewis died in 1997. Plaintiff Mark Miller is the son of registered owner Alice Lewis and the grandson of registered owner Patricia Lewis, and is heir to Alice Lewis and Patricia Lewis, and heir to Lewis Time Deposit Nos. 004, 003, 004 and 002.

24.           On December 24, 1981, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 202464 (“Bond No. 202464”) to Albert or Mary Miotke or the survivor (“registered owner”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $500.00. Bond No. 202464 was issued by the Puyallup Branch of Rainier Bank. Albert and Mary Miotke purchased Bond No. 202464 from the Puyallup Branch of Rainier Bank. Plaintiff Mary Miotke is listed as a registered owner of Rainier Bank Bond No. 202464.

25.           On May 8, 1984, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 291153 (“Bond No. 291153”) to Joseph P. Doyon (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $8,000.00. Bond No. 291153 was issued by the University Branch of Rainier. Joseph P. Doyon purchased Bond No. 291153 from the University Branch of Rainier Bank. Joseph P. Doyon is the registered owner of Rainier Bank Bond No. 291153. Joseph P. Doyon’s son is Plaintiff Dale Doyon. Joseph P. Doyon died on September 13, 2018. Dale Doyon is heir to Joseph P. Doyon and heir to Rainier Bank Bond No. 291153.

26.           On July 12, 1984, Seattle-First issued Seattle-First Certificate No. 0040601 (“Certificate No. 0040601”) to Aaron F. Heintzman, Dyrald Heintzman and Sandra Heintzman (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $200.00. Certificate No. 0040601 was issued by the Everett Mall Branch of Seattle-First. Dyrald and Sandra Heintzman purchased Certificate No. 0040601 from the Everett Mall Branch of Seattle-First on behalf of their son, Plaintiff Aaron F. Heintzman. Aaron F. Heintzman is the registered owner of Seattle-First Certificate No. 0040601.

27.           On July 28, 1980, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 144874 (“Bond No. 144874”) to Blanche McNamara (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $10,000.00. On November 29, 1982, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 237857 (“Bond No. 237857”) to Blanche McNamara (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $10,000.00. On March 1, 1982, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 197979 (“Bond No. 197979”) to Blanche McNamara (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $10,000.00. On August 15, 1980, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 144902 (“Bond No. 144902”) to Blanche McNamara (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $10,000.00. On October 30, 1980, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 159572 (“Bond No. 159572”) to Blanche McNamara (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $10,000.00. On June 9, 1983, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 253964 (“Bond No. 253964”) to Blanche McNamara (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $10,000.00. The bonds were issued by the Northgate Branch of Rainier Bank. Blanche McNamara purchased the bonds from the Northgate Branch of Rainier Bank. Blanche McNamara is the registered owner of Rainier Bank Bond Nos. 144874, 237857, 197979, 144902, 159572, and 253964. Blanche McNamara’s daughter is Plaintiff Sara McNamara. Blanche McNamara died on May 19, 1997. Sara McNamara is heir to Blanche McNamara and heir to Rainier Bank Bond Nos. 144874, 237857, 197979, 144902, 159572, and 253964.

28.           On November 30, 1982, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 251915 (“Bond No. 251915”) to Erin K. Hoctor or Walter W. Hoctor or Sally A. Hoctor (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $914.54. On January 19, 1984, Rainier Bank issued Rainier Bank Bond No. 274482 (“Bond No. 274482”) to Erin K. Hoctor or Wayne Hoctor or Sally Hoctor (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $500.00. The bonds were issued by the Goldendale Branch of Rainier Bank. Wayne and Sally Hoctor purchased Bond No. 251915 and Bond No. 274482 from the Goldendale Branch of Rainier Bank. Plaintiff Erin Bast’s maiden name is Erin K. Hoctor. Erin Bast is the registered owner of Rainier Bank Bond Nos. 251915 and 274482.

29.           On December 15, 1983, Seattle-First issued Seattle-First Certificate No. 00057122 (“Certificate No. 00057122”) to Elisa Sagisi POD Maria Sagisi Geiss (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $3,000.00. On January 16, 1985, Seattle-First issued Seattle-First Certificate No. 00067576 (“Certificate No. 00067576”) to Elisa Sagisi or Maria Sagisi Geiss (“registered owners”) for funds deposited with the bank in the principal amount of $2,000.00.  The certificates were issued by the Renton Branch of Seattle-First. Elisa Sagisi purchased the certificates from the Renton Branch of Seattle-First. Plaintiff Maria Sagisi Geiss is Elisa Sagisis’ daughter. Elisa Sagisi died on March 30, 2015. Maria Sagisi Geiss is the registered owner of Seattle-First Certificate Nos. 00057122 and 00067576.

30.           Plaintiffs are the registered owners, transferees, beneficiaries, or heirs to all Bonds listed in this Complaint.

31.           The Bonds are designed to look like a U.S. Savings Bonds. Many of the Bonds are titled “BankBond” or simply “Bond”, however, they are actually multiple maturity non-negotiable time certificate of deposits. Rainier Bank and Seattle-First misrepresented their investment product to mislead and confuse consumers.

32.           Plaintiffs’ initial annual interest rates on the Bonds range from “7%” to “14.25%” and the Bonds interest payments are either “Added to Principal”, “Paid by Check” or it is left undefined.

33.           According to the terms printed on the face of the Bonds, some Bonds are single time deposits and others automatically renew with interest for subsequent maturities equal in length to the original maturity period unless (a) the original Bond is presented and surrendered to the Bank by the registered owner for payment or (b) the Bank at its option gives notice prior to any maturity date that it will not be renewed.

34.           Seattle-First, American Savings, Rainier Bank and its successors never gave notice to the registered owners of the Bonds and/or the Plaintiffs that the Bonds were not being renewed. Plaintiffs did not present the Bonds for surrender to the Bank until recently.

35.           Plaintiffs held the Bonds in a safe deposit box or other secure place for safekeeping.

36.           At all times after the Bonds’ purchase, some of the registered owners of the Bonds maintained active accounts at the local bank branches that issued the Bonds.

37.           Throughout this time some of the registered owners of the Bonds lived at the same address and received regular banking account statements from Seattle-First, American Savings, Rainier Bank and its successors. At no time after the issuance of the Bonds, did Seattle-First, American Savings, Rainier Bank or its successors lose contact with these registered owners.

38.           After the time of the first renewal, the registered owners did not receive any notice from any bank that the Bonds were not being renewed, were dormant, or that funds had escheated to the State of Washington.

39.           Seattle-First, American Savings, Rainier Bank and its successors never escheated the deposited money from the Bonds to Washington State.

40.           Defendants knew, or should have known, about Bonds issued by Rainier Bank. Since 1998, Defendant Bank of American has been sued at least four times for their failure to redeem Bonds issued by Rainier Bank. In one case, King County Superior Court Judge Douglas A. North held that the Rainier Bank Bond was valid and ordered Bank of America to pay the beneficiary. Defendants knew, or should have known, about the validity of Rainier Bank Bonds. Defendants failed to disclose the validity of Rainier Bank Bonds to the Plaintiffs.

41.           After being made aware of their obligation on Bonds issued by Rainier Bank, Defendants continued a policy of misinforming Plaintiffs and other holders that the Bonds were worthless.

42.           Recently Plaintiffs presented their original Bond certificates to surrender for redemption at Defendants’ branch locations. Defendants refused to redeem the Bonds.

43.           Defendants told Plaintiffs that the Bonds had no value. Defendants told some Plaintiffs that the Bonds had either already been redeemed, or that the Bonds’ funds had escheated to the State of Washington. Defendants knew, or should have known, these statements were false. Prior to making these statements to the Plaintiffs, Defendants had failed to investigate and/or perform due diligence on Plaintiffs’ Bonds.

44.           Plaintiffs contacted the Washington State Department of Revenue which confirmed that it had no record of having received any funds belonging to the registered owners of the Bonds.

45.           The terms for withdrawing the Bond funds are stated on the face of the Bond in a paragraph titled “Withdrawal.” On many of the Bonds, the paragraph states that the principal amount and any accrued interest will be paid to the owner “upon presentation and surrender of this Rainier BankBond.”

46.           Defendants hold the money deposited by Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs’ deceased benefactors by way of merger and purchase of Seattle-First, American Savings, and/or Rainier Bank.

47.           As successor in interest to Seattle-First, American Savings, and/or Rainier Bank, Defendants managed the money deposited by Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs’ deceased benefactors.

48.           As successor in interest to Seattle-First, American Savings, and/or Rainier Bank, Defendants benefited from money deposited by Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs’ deceased benefactors.

49.           Plaintiffs attempted to redeem their original Bonds according to the instructions printed on the face of the Bonds and Defendants refused to return the money and refused to pay the interest owed to the Plaintiffs as required by the terms of the Bonds.

50.           Defendants adopted an unfair policy universally refusing Washington residents’ Bonds issued by Seattle-First, American Savings, and/or Rainier Bank to avoid paying the registered owners, transferees, beneficiaries, and heirs.

51.           Defendants adopted a deceptive policy to tell Washington residents that their Bonds had no value and were worthless so Defendants could avoid paying the balance and interest to the registered owners, transferees, beneficiaries, and heirs of the Bonds.

52.           Defendants’ refusal to pay registered owners upon their surrender of the original Bonds affects other registered owners, transferees, beneficiaries, and heirs in Washington state.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION – Breach of Contract

53.           Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each allegation set forth herein.

54.           Seattle-First, American Savings, and Rainier Bank entered into valid written contracts with the registered owners. As part of those written contracts, Seattle-First, American Savings, and Rainier Bank accepted cash deposits from the registered owners in exchange for Bonds issued to the registered owners.

55.           Bank of America acquired the liability on certain Bonds listed in this Complaint when Bank of America acquired Seattle-First, American Savings, and Rainier Bank.

56.           Key Bank acquired the liability on certain Bonds listed in this Complaint when Key Bank purchased several Rainier Bank branches.

57.           U.S. Bank acquired the liability on certain Bonds listed in this Complaint when U.S. Bank purchased several Rainier Bank branches.

58.           Defendants, as successors to Seattle-First, American Savings, and/or Rainier Bank, breached the contracts with Plaintiffs by declining to redeem and pay the balance of the Bonds, plus interest. Defendants and their predecessors have not provided any notices to the registered owners, transferees or their beneficiaries that the Bonds would not be renewed, that it was dormant or that the Bonds’ funds were being escheated to the State.

59.           In breaching the contracts with Plaintiffs, Defendants also breached the contractual covenants of good faith and fair dealing that it owed Plaintiffs as a party to the contracts.

60.           Defendants are liable to Plaintiffs for the principal amounts of the Bonds as well as all interest accrued since the Bonds’ issuances.

61.           Defendants’ breach of the contracts caused Plaintiffs to suffer foreseeable damages. From the outset of the contracts, it was foreseeable that breaches would cause direct and consequential damages to Plaintiffs, including, but not limited to, loss of principals, loss of interests, attorneys’ fees, and related costs of litigation, all in amounts to be proven at trial.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION – VIOLATION OF CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT

62.           Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each allegation set forth herein.

63.           The actions, practices, and omissions of Defendants constitute unfair and deceptive acts and practices in the conduct of trade and commerce that affect the public interest within the meaning of the Washington Consumer Protection Act, RCW 19.86.

64.           Seattle-First, American Savings, and Rainier Bank negligently misrepresented several Bonds to confuse consumers.

65.           Several of the Bonds state on their face that the funds shall be withdrawn “upon presentation and surrender of this Rainier BankBond.” No other terms are stated as an alternative procedure for withdrawing the Bonds’ funds.

66.           Plaintiffs have fully complied with all the steps necessary to redeem the Bonds. Defendants have refused to redeem the Bonds by making up erroneous theories in the absence of any evidence that one of its predecessors may have followed unwritten and unpublished rules unknown to Plaintiffs by redeeming the Bonds without requiring the surrender of the original Bonds’ certificate.

67.           Defendants’ adoption of a policy to refuse redemption by Washington State Bond holders without investigation into their individual Bonds is an unfair business practice.

68.           Defendants’ conduct of telling Plaintiffs that their Bonds have no value is an unfair business practice.

69.           Defendants’ position that they do not have to fulfill the terms of the Bonds’ contract with Plaintiffs solely because the banks speculate without any evidence, that they may have followed procedures contrary to the terms printed on the face of the Bonds’ certificate is an unfair business practice.

70.           Defendants have refused to pay other substantially similar bond holders in Washington State. Defendants have no evidence to support their non-payment position. Their refusal to redeem the Bonds based upon an unpublicized change in the rules from those printed on the face of the Bonds is an unfair business practice. The Bonds were purposely structured to renew automatically, with no termination date so that consumers would leave their money on deposit with the bank indefinitely.

71.           When a consumer has kept their bond funds at the bank for an extended period, just as the terms of the bank bond encouraged, but is denied redemption because the bank has not retained the records for that account, the burden for the costs of enforcing the contract should fall on the bank. It would have been a simple and inexpensive matter for the bank to have retained the records for any bond accounts for which the original bond certificates were not surrendered. For its own reasons Defendants, or its predecessors, chose not to retain those records, or any other records regarding the registered owner’s account. The banks cannot use the banks’ own business decision not to retain records as the basis for denying a valid consumer claim supported by the customers’ records that the bank pledged to rely upon. To do so is an unfair business practice.

72.           Defendants’ responses to Plaintiffs’ attempts to redeem their Bonds are per se misrepresentations. The Bond certificates state the rules and process for redemption. When Plaintiffs, and other persons similar to them in Washington State, complied with those rules, Defendants refused to pay and informed the Plaintiffs that their Bonds had no value. This type of unfair business practice toward consumers is exactly what the Washington Consumer Protection Act was designed to protect against.

73.           As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ violations of the Consumer Protection Act, Plaintiffs have suffered damages, including but not limited to loss of principal and interest, attorneys’ fees, and related costs of litigation, all in amounts to be proven at trial.

74.           These actions by Defendants have affected the public interest. Seattle-First, American Savings, and Rainier Bank issued numerous similar other bonds to numerous other people that Defendants are refusing to redeem when presented with the original bond certificate.

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION – CONVERSION

75.           Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each allegation set forth herein.

76.           Defendants, as successors to Seattle-First, American Savings, and/or Rainier Bank, have willfully deprived Plaintiffs of the principal amounts on their Bonds plus interest without legal justification to do so and converted said funds to their own use.

77.           As a direct and proximate result, Defendants are liable for damages to Plaintiffs equal to the principal amounts deposited plus interest.

 

FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION  –  Negligence

78.           Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each allegation set forth herein.

79.           Defendants owed common law and statutory duties of care to Plaintiffs arising from the banks’ receipt of funds, the establishment and management of the account relating to the Bonds, which also necessarily included the duty to not supply false information for Plaintiffs’ guidance and to notify Plaintiffs of any account changes and to pay Plaintiffs upon a withdrawal request.

80.           Defendants breached the foregoing duties of care owed to Plaintiffs through its actions and omissions by supplying false information for Plaintiffs’ guidance and declining to redeem and pay the balance on the Bonds and by not providing notices to Plaintiffs regarding bond renewal, non-renewal, or account dormancy.

81.           Defendants take the position with no evidence that Plaintiffs’ Bonds have already been redeemed, even though Plaintiffs hold the original Bonds. Plaintiffs have presented the original Bonds as required by the terms stated on the face of the Bonds.

82.           If Defendants contend that the Bonds were redeemed, even though the original Bond certificates were not surrendered, then Defendants, or its predecessors, were negligent in not maintaining records of the redemption upon which the banks are now speculating.

83.           As a direct and proximate result of the negligence of Defendants, Plaintiffs suffered damages, including, but not limited to loss of principal and interest, attorneys’ fees and related costs of litigation, all in amounts to be proven at trial.

FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION  –  Restitution FOR UNJUST ENRICHMENT

84.           Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference each allegation set forth herein.

85.           Defendants were unjustly enriched by Plaintiffs equal to the principal amounts deposited plus interest, for money had and received by the Defendants for the benefit of Plaintiffs.

86.           Plaintiffs have demanded payments from Defendants. No payment has been

made by the Defendants to Plaintiffs, and Plaintiffs are now owed the sum of not less than

the principal amounts deposited plus interest, costs and attorneys’ fees.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray that this Court grant the following relief:

1.     Judgment against U.S. Bank, Bank of America and Key Bank awarding Plaintiffs damages in an amount to be proven at trial, including the face value of the Bonds, plus accrued interest at the stated amount for the initial term of the Bond and at “the maximum rate then paid by the Bank as of the first day of such renewal period for time deposits of like maturity and principal amount” on the successive automatic renewal dates for the Bond up to the date of the redemption request;

2.     That Plaintiffs be awarded damages under the Consumer Protection Act, RCW 19.86, including treble damages, and costs and attorneys’ fees;

3.     That Plaintiffs be awarded prejudgment interest from the date that redemption was denied through the date of judgment; and

4.     For such other relief as the Court deems just and equitable.

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED.

Attorney West Seattle, P.S.  

Eric J. Harrison, WSBA# 46129

Attorney for Plaintiffs