Valladares v. Bank of America Corp.Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against the Bank for negligence, battery, and false imprisonment after bank employees mistakenly identified him as a bank robber. The jury awarded plaintiff a total of $2,603,000 in compensatory damages and $700,000 in punitive damages. The Third District reversed and remanded for entry of judgment for the bank. At issue is whether those who falsely report criminal conduct to law enforcement have a privilege or immunity from civil liability for the false report. The court held that a cause of action is available to one injured as a result of a false report of criminal behavior to law enforcement when the report is made by a party which has knowledge or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should have knowledge that the accusations are false or acts in a gross or flagrant manner in reckless disregard of the rights of the party exposed, or acts with indifference or wantonness or recklessness equivalent to punitive conduct. The court quashed the decision below and remanded for a new trial.