You can sue your bank if its ATM fails to dispense cash to you!

You can sue your bank if its ATM fails to dispense cash to you!

Let me tell you some amusing fact I’m sure you may likely not be aware of:

Do you know that you can sue a bank if their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) fails to dispense cash to you as long as you have money in that account?

Yes, you read right! 

Did that surprise you?

Well don’t take my word for it, it is the word and the decision of the court.

The Background story!

Mr. Moses G Jwan is an Ecobank Plc customer and owns an account with the bank in which an Automated Teller Machine (Atm) debit card was issued to him. He tried using the debit card to make a withdrawal in a United Bank of Africa’s ATM gallery. He was debited but cash wasn’t dispensed to him by the teller machine.

He decided to take legal action. He sued both EcoBank Plc his bank and United Bank of Africa (UBA) the bank that owns the teller machine that didn’t dispense cash to him.

The matter was dismissed in the high court for the technicality of plaintiff’s failure to discharge the burden of proof placed on him and he (Mr Moses Jwan) went on appeal and appealed to the court of appeal.

In the court of appeal, Plateau state judicial division, the court held that Automated Teller Machine (ATM)  is like a Cheque and failure of it  to dispense cash is a breach of Banker/customer duty in as much as the customer has a withdraw-able sum in the bank account.

This case is therefore a judicial precedent, laying down the precedent that if your bank’s teller machine fails to dispense cash to you while you’ve got a withdraw-able sum in the account, the bank is in breach of their duty to provide cash to you and damages will be awarded against them.

If you are interested in reading up the case, the case is reported in the Nigerian Weekly Law Report (NWLR) where it is reported: Moses Jwan V. Eco Bank Plc (2021) 10 NWLR (PT 1785 ) 449 (CA)

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