Florida – June 26, 2020 – GrayRobinson Shareholders David S. Hendrix and Veronica A. Meza delivered a win at the appellate level for Truist Bank, formerly known as Branch Banking & Trust Company, in a class action. The appeal arose from the dismissal with prejudice of a class action against Truist Bank asserting alleged violations of Florida’s U.C.C. and Florida’s Consumer Collection Practices Act based on an allegedly defective pre-disposition notice under Section 679.614, Florida Statutes. Specifically, the class representative alleged that the pre-disposition notice was defective because it identified Truist Bank’s agent as the “secured party,” and not Truist Bank.
GrayRobinson defended the class action at the trial level and successfully obtained a dismissal with prejudice based on its statutory interpretation that the definition of “secured party” found in Florida’s U.C.C. would also include Truist Bank’s agent. This argument was premised on the Last Antecedent Rule—a statutory cannon of interpretation. In a case of first impression, the trial court agreed with Truist Bank’s statutory interpretation and entered a final judgment dismissing with prejudice the class action. On appeal, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s final judgment. The First District Court of Appeal also granted Truist Bank’s Motion for Appellate Attorney’s Fees.