Trustmark National Bank v. Roxco Ltd.Annotate this Case
Roxco, Ltd., was hired as the general contractor for several public-construction projects for the State of Mississippi, including four building projects at the University of Mississippi, Jackson State University, and Alcorn State University. State law requires that a certain percentage of the cost of construction be retained to ensure completion. However, Mississippi Code Section 31-5-15 (Rev. 2010) allows the contractor to access that retainage by depositing with the State other acceptable security. Pursuant to Section 31-5-15, Roxco substituted securities valued at $1,055,000, deposited in a safekeeping account at Trustmark National Bank. Upon being notified of Roxco's default, the State instructed Trustmark to transfer the funds from the treasury bills into the state treasury account. By letter, Roxco directed Trustmark not to transfer the funds from the treasury bills to the State's account. Notwithstanding Roxco's letter, Trustmark deposited the funds into the State's account. Roxco filed suit against Trustmark for breach of contract and conversion. Trustmark argued that Section 31-5-15 permitted the release of the funds in the safekeeping account. A jury found in favor of Roxco and awarded $3,720,000 in damages. Aggrieved, Trustmark appealed. Finding that the trial court should have granted the motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded for further proceedings.