J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America sued for alleged improper payments

Kyle Barnett Feb. 15, 2012, 4:59am

DONALDSONVILLE – An Ascension Parish man is suing two banks for payments he alleges were improperly cashed by a contractor.

Kenneth Jackson filed suit on Feb. 7 in 23rd Judicial District Court against J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America.

Jackson claims the defendants allowed payment on checks without the proper signature.

The plaintiff alleges he received an insurance claim of $162,878.39 and deposited it into a Bank of America account that was to go to repair damage to his home.

Jackson claims he contracted Estess Construction Co. Inc. and its principal Hunter Estess for the repairs under an agreement to pay a $20,000 deposit and the remainder of the costs upon completion of the project. The plaintiff asserts Bank of America made out four checks to the contractor and plaintiff without the plaintiff's knowledge and before the work was complete. The plaintiff claims the contractor improperly endorsed the checks with only his name and cashed them at Chase. Subsequent to depletion of most of the insurance funds and with only 60 percent of the work complete the plaintiff canceled the contract with Estess and contracted another company at a quoted price of $47,807.62 above the cost of repairs estimated by the insurer.

The plaintiff is accusing Bank of America of negligence for improperly paying for incomplete work, failing to monitor the progress of construction, failing to pursue a claim against Chase for cashing the improperly endorsed checks and refusing to pay the new contractor to complete the unfinished work. The plaintiff is seeking to hold Chase liable for improperly cashing checks made out to both the plaintiff and Estess with only Estess's signature.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for the plaintiff's additional rental costs, additional living expenses, mental anguish, inconvenience, legal fees and the funds necessary to complete reconstruction of the home.

Jackson is being represented by attorney Eddie J. Lambert of Gonzales.

The case has been assigned to Division C Judge Guy Holdridge.

Case number 102674

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