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Home / Opinions / Practice Area opinion / Business & Corporate Law opinion / Banks and Banking: Credit Agreement – Breach Of Contract – Punitive Damages

Banks and Banking: Credit Agreement – Breach Of Contract – Punitive Damages

(1)Where a business owner won a verdict for breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation against a bank after the bank failed to close on a loan to buy a building for the business owner’s restaurant, and the bank argued that the trial court erred in denying its motion for a JNOV because the Missouri Credit Agreement Act barred the claims, the agreement was a credit agreement, but the bank officers and the bank board approved the written conditions and were aware of a written commitment, so the point is denied, and the  bank also failed to show that the agreement was barred by Missouri’s statute of frauds.

(2)Where a jury could infer from circumstantial evidence that a bank knowingly exposed a business owner to large losses since he was depending on a loan and the bank failed to inform him in a timely fashion that the loan was not going to be made, the business owner presented clear and convincing evidence that the bank acted with reckless disregard for the business owner’s rights and interests, so the jury award of $200,000 in punitive damages is ordered to be reinstated.

Judgment is affirmed in part; reversed in part.

Bailey v. Hawthorn Bank (MLW No.63980/Case No. WD74240/WD74278 – 35 pages) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, Witt, J.) Appealed from circuit court, Jackson County, Schieber, J. (Robert J. Bjerg, Overland Park, Kansas, for appellants) (Mark M. Iba, Robin K. Carlson and Megan McCurdy, Kansas City, Missouri, for respondents).

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