JERRY W. PAIGE D/B/A PAIGE ELECTRIC COMPANY, LLC APPELLANT
WELLS FARGO AND COMPANY APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 03/29/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT, HON. LAWRENCE
PAUL BOURGEOIS JR.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: BLEWETT W. THOMAS
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: MICHAEL JAMES BENTLEY
LEE, C.J., BARNES AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
WESTBROOKS, J., FOR THE COURT.
This appeal is taken from the Harrison County Circuit Court.
Paige Electric LLC (Paige Electric) sought recovery of a
check, in the amount of $83, 972.08, from Wells Fargo and Co.
(Wells Fargo). Finding no error in the circuit court's
dismissal of Paige Electric's case, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Paige Electric leased storage space to Bret Gibson (Gibson),
an out-of-state contractor working on the Mississippi Gulf
Coast following Hurricane Katrina. Gibson was indebted to
Paige Electric for more than $80, 000 for the storage space.
On June 14, 2006, Gibson represented to Paige Electric that
he received an insurance check as payment from Jim Wylie
(Wylie) for construction work performed on Wylie's
Gibson tendered the insurance check to Paige Electric as
payment and full satisfaction of Gibson's debts. The
check was issued by Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland
(Fidelity). The check was payable to Jim A. Wylie and the
company holding the mortgage on Wylie's home, HomeEq
Service Corporation (HomeEq), in the amount of $83, 972.08.
This check was for the payment of damage done by Hurricane
Katrina. Between 2006 and 2008, HomeEq was owned by Wells
Paige Electric contacted Wylie to verify the check had been
properly endorsed by all payees, and was negotiable. Wylie
confirmed the genuineness of the endorsements, and that he
rightfully possessed the check. As a result of Wylie's
and Gibson's representations, Paige Electric accepted the
check in satisfaction of Gibson's outstanding debts and
deposited the check into its BancorpSouth checking account.
Paige Electric also paid Gibson the difference between his
indebtedness and the amount of the check in cash.
The check was deposited on June 14, 2006, and final payment
was made by Wells Fargo on June 15, 2006. After making the
final payment, Wells Fargo did not dispute the payment of the
check or raise any claims of fraudulent endorsement until
nearly five months after it was deposited. From June 14,
2006, to November 27, 2006, BancorpSouth placed no
restrictions or holds regarding the funds deposited.
On November 1, 2006, HomeEq submitted an affidavit alleging
that the check Paige Electric deposited was wrongfully
endorsed. Wells Fargo received that affidavit on November 20,
2006. Wells Fargo notified BancorpSouth that an endorsement
was forged, and the check was not enforceable by Paige
Electric. On November 27, 2006, Paige Electric was notified
by BancorpSouth that a hold was being placed on Paige
Electric's checking account, due to Wells Fargo's
wrongful-endorsement claim. On December 5, 2006, BancorpSouth
rejected Wells Fargo's forged-endorsement claims and
released the hold on Paige Electric's account.
For more than a year, Paige Electric received no further
communication from Wells Fargo, HomeEq, or BancorpSouth,
regarding the validity of the endorsements or the payment of
the check. On December 31, 2007, BancorpSouth contacted Paige
Electric and advised that another hold was placed on their
account, for the entire amount of the check. On March ...