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SOURCE Diviacchi Law Office
BOSTON, Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On 18 September 2013, United States District Court Judge William Young of Massachusetts challenged Wells Fargo to live up to their advertising and marketing as a "consumer friendly" bank by waiving a technical defense that would deny a jury the ability to hear and render a verdict in a case of "outrageous" facts of wrongdoing and fraud in one of its loan program. Judge's words:
Conclusion: And so, Wells Fargo wins on a technicality. The Court never addresses the merits of this case and expresses no opinion thereon. Still, it is appropriate to point out that, were Henning to prove his case on the merits, the conduct of Wells Fargo would be shown to be nothing short of outrageous. On the other hand, perhaps if Wells Fargo addressed the merits, its conduct would be vindicated by fair-minded American jurors. A quick visit to Wells Fargo's website confirms that it vigorously promotes itself as consumer friendly, Loans and Programs, page within Home Lending, wellsfargo.com, https://www.wellsfargo.com/mortgage/loan-programs/ (last visited September 17, 2013); a far cry from the hard-nosed win-at-any cost stance it has adopted here. The technical (and now obsolete) preemption defense upon which Wells Fargo relies is an affirmative defense which can be waived. See, e.g., Tompkins v. United Healthcare of New England, 203 F.3d 90, 97 (1st Cir. 2000). The disconnect between Wells Fargo's publicly advertised face and its actual litigation conduct here could not be more extreme. These facts lead this Court to inquire whether Wells Fargo wishes to address Henning's claims on the merits. After all, it may be that Wells Fargo has done nothing wrong. ACCORDINGLY, it is ORDERED that Wells Fargo, within 30 days of the date of this order, shall submit a corporate resolution bearing the signature of its president and a majority of its board of directors that it stands behind the conduct of its skilled attorneys and wishes to avail itself of the technical preemption defense to defeat Henning's claim. Should it do so, judgment will enter for Wells Fargo. If no such resolution is filed, the Court will deem the preemption defense waived and both Wells Fargo and Henning will have the opportunity to address the merits (i.e., what really happened) at a trial before an American jury.
Henning v. Wachovia n/k/a Wells Fargo, U.S.D.C. District of Massachusetts #11-11428-WGY