Bank Allegedly Refused for Months to Correct Errors or Restore Missed Payments
WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP filed a lawsuit today on behalf of District of Columbia resident, Ms. Andrea S. Paterson, against Bank of America for repeated errors that resulted in missing and terminated Social Security benefits owed to Ms. Paterson's minor son. The lawsuit alleges that the Bank first refused to process one Social Security payment, then sent erroneous information about Ms. Paterson's family to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Relying on this information, SSA stopped making monthly payments owed to Ms. Paterson's son, resulting in almost $10,000 in missed benefits since August 2020.
Ms. Paterson's husband passed away in September 2017. Shortly thereafter, the SSA determined that Ms. Paterson's two sons were entitled to Social Security benefits from their late father. (Ms. Paterson's older son stopped receiving his benefits in June 2018 when he graduated from high school). From November 2018 through July 2020, SSA deposited monthly payments into the Bank of America account that Ms. Paterson set up in a representational capacity on behalf of her minor son.
In August 2020, the Bank refused to process the SSA payment into the minor child's bank account. According to the lawsuit, the Bank had erroneously determined that Ms. Paterson's minor child was deceased. The lawsuit alleges that the Bank would not help Ms. Paterson correct the error with the SSA, so Ms. Paterson was forced to contact the SSA herself and provide documentation to prove that her minor son was alive. While the September SSA payment was made and processed by the Bank, the August payment continues to be missing.
Sometime in late September, the lawsuit alleges that the Bank falsely notified the SSA that Ms. Paterson's late husband was alive. This erroneous information caused the SSA to terminate Ms. Paterson's minor son's benefits. To-date, Ms. Paterson's minor son has not received his legally-entitled benefits for the months of August, October, November and December, 2020, amounting to almost $10,000 in missing payments. This is money that Ms. Paterson's family relies on to pay its bills, including the monthly mortgage.
The lawsuit alleges that throughout this ordeal, the Bank has acted in a manner that is cynically indifferent to Ms. Paterson's needs. Even after the Bank learned that Ms. Paterson was diagnosed with cancer, putting her at heightened risk of COVID-19, the Bank continued to insist that Ms. Paterson, and on one occasion, her minor son, go to a Bank branch in person to attempt to correct the Bank's errors. The Bank's conduct has put Ms. Paterson and her family members at unnecessary risk to their mental and physical health. This is in stark contrast to the promises on its website that Bank of America "believes in the importance of treating each client and teammate as an individual and treating every moment as one that matters."
"The last thing in the world I wanted to do was file a lawsuit, but the conduct of Bank of America has caused incalculable trauma and stress for me and my child," Ms. Paterson stated.
"I want to forcefully remind the Bank, and the multiple, individual Bank employees with whom I dealt, that there are people on the other end of their transactions. Single mothers and widows like me, who must pay the mortgage and buy food for their families, who are grappling with catastrophic medical crises, and who rely on Social Security payments to help support their households," Ms. Paterson added. "The Bank should be held accountable for the callous and disgraceful conduct of its employees."
The lawsuit, Andrea S. Paterson v. Bank of America NA, is pending in DC Superior Court.
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SOURCE Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP