(CN) – A trucking company can sue the bank from which an employee embezzled money, even though the employee paid more than $340,000 in restitution, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled.
Swinford Trucking Co. sued Paducah Bank and Trust after Swinford’s office manager, Debbie Crowley, pleaded guilty to charges of theft and fraudulent use of a credit card.
Crowley paid restitution in the amount of $343,726, plus a 5 percent fee.
The trial court granted summary judgment to the bank on Swinford’s negligence claim, citing Crowley’s restitution payment.
The appeals court overturned the decision, however, ruling that restitution in the criminal case does not preclude Swinford’s civil action against the bank – a legal principle known as collateral estoppel.
“We are not dictating a result in this litigation, nor does our decision foreclose a subsequent summary judgment motion based on grounds other than collateral estoppel,” Judge Kelly Thompson wrote. “However, Swinford is not precluded from pursuing a civil action against Paducah Bank and Trust merely because it received restitution from Crowley.”